Centre 507 plans to dialogue with its members on cuts to funding as new homelessness strategy is started, but where is the City homelessness plan?

507 retry

No doubt, changing a “culture” of systems and organizational response to homelessness is not an easy thing to do.  Hard moments and decisions have to be made.   The banner of Housing First is one all of us can get behind, but how is the plan being implemented to communicate steps to the front line workers much less our program leaders?  How are the people we serve to find their way into community settlement?

So far the approach seems to be notices of program shutdowns.  But where is the plan and vision and more to the point the community based process?  How do we ensure that we don’t recreate the versions of “de-institutionalization” of the 70’s/80’s and the ensuing response of institutional homelessness into  recreating yet more gaps in transition to community and neighbourhood integration?   We need to have transparency on the plan to bridge with the implementation goals of Housing First.

I have looked around on a few key web pages such as the Alliance and the City, and while there are hints of the directions such as   http://ottawa.ca/en/residents/social-services/housing/our-ten-year-plan it is clear we need our leaders in homelessness to engage with us and the people programs serve, in talking about implementation.

An admirable example of good process, though it may be an idealized one is out of Vancouver, provided via the homelessness hub http://www.homelesshub.ca/resource/four-organizations-partnered-address-youth-homelessness-vancouver-analysis-intersectoral.  Their efforts brought the multiple perspectives of: client, worker, manager, system planner, political leaders.  Bridging the multiple sectors and process’, small steps at a time.

thanks for considering this view, Bill Dare


One comment

  1. Reuel Amdur

    The idea of wiping out programs like 507 in order to fund housing first is destructive of housing first. First does not mean only. Once housed, the vulnerable people need services, including the kinds of services 507 provides. This is a repeat of the madness involved in the deinstitutionalization experienced. The transfer of the money for institutions was not transferred to services for the deinstitutionalized. Instead it was just pocketed. Again the decision-makers are “saving” money by gutting necessary services, services needed by those housed. Housing first needs to be something added to existing servicves, not instead of.

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