Homeless Hub Newsletter - March 16, 2017
Help us to define homelessness prevention!

An Evaluation of Rent Assistance for Individuals Experiencing Persistent Homelessness in Waterloo Region

Courtney Pankratz, Geoff Nelson

In the summer of 2014, the Region of Waterloo received funding towards rent assistance that would help to house 40 individuals experiencing persistent homelessness in the community. The Region was interested in evaluating the impacts of the addition of rent assistance to its STEP Home (Support to End Persistent Homelessness) program in order to guide the future direction of these services. This report provides an overview of the results from the study, which indicate that (1) rent assistance is effective at improving housing stability (2) rent assistance is associated with greater perceived housing quality and (3) rent assistance improves quality of life and other psychosocial outcomes.

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Help us to define homelessness prevention!

Last chance to take our survey and win a free book!

The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness is developing a homelessness prevention framework. The aim of the framework is to define prevention and consider ways we can stop homelessness from happening, rather than waiting until people are in crisis before intervening. All survey respondents will be entered in a draw to win a free book from the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. Our survey ends tomorrow, March 31st. Please take a moment to participate below!

Take our survey

Call for Presentations: CAEH 17

This year, we are making a concerted effort to create a dynamic research and policy stream that includes a range of learning opportunities and presentation styles. We are encouraging presenters to explore creative presentation formats (e.g., PechaKucha, Speed Geeking, Talk Show style), in addition to the more traditional conference session format. Deadline is April 28. 

Submit your presentation
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Blog: Can Art Make a Difference? Mobilizing the Arts to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness

Blog: Can Art Make a Difference? Mobilizing the Arts to Prevent and End Youth Homelessness

Kaitlin Schwan

What is the power of art? Research has shown that the arts can provide a safe environment for self-expression for youth who face a range of traumatic experiences and social exclusions, and that youth are able to experience a sense of self-efficacy, self-esteem, and individuality by bringing new artistic works into existence. This blog post from Kaitlin Schwan details how we can use the arts in our efforts to prevent and end youth homelessness.

Read the blog post

Blog: Welfare & Homelessness

Nadia Ali

The rate of homelessness in Canada today is a result of austerity measures executed across the country since the 1990s. This includes cuts to our social safety net that have impacted lower-income Canadians. Where, ideally, those experiencing or at-risk of homelessness ought to be eligible for and recipients of social assistance, but more often than not this fails to be the case.

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Blog: What are the palliative care services available to the homeless population in Canada?

Ambar Aleman

The goal of palliative care is to ease the end-of-life transition and reduce pain; it is designed to help the terminally ill spend their last days with dignity and less suffering. This blog post lists some of the palliative care services in Canada serving the homeless populations. There has been an increasing recognition of the pressing health care needs for people experiencing homelessness, however, there still remains a service gap in this area. 

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Addressing Homelessness in Metro Vancouver

The Calgary Homeless Foundation’s System Planning Frameworks

Calgary Homeless Foundation

The Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF) has recently released an updated version of its System Planning Framework as well as a newly-introduced Family System Planning Framework.

The purpose of a System Planning Framework is to paint a picture of a strategic and inclusive system that meets the needs of anyone experiencing homelessness. In this picture, all people in the Homeless-Serving System of Care, including agency staff, government representatives, or mainstream partners, understand where they fit as part of something bigger. Calgary Homeless Foundation aims to inspire a vision of an interconnected response, driven by data, research and evidence, that will permanently end homelessness for those we serve.

Read the System Planning Framework
Read the Family System Planning Framework
Comparing the Utilization and Cost of Health Services between Veterans Experiencing Brief and Ongoing Episodes of Housing Instability

Comparing the Utilization and Cost of Health Services between Veterans Experiencing Brief and Ongoing Episodes of Housing Instability

Byrne, T., Nelson, R. E., Montgomery, A. E. et al.  
Journal of Urban Health, Vol 94.

Housing instability is associated with costly patterns of health and behavioral health service use. However, little prior research has examined patterns of service use associated with higher costs among those experiencing ongoing housing instability. To address this gap, this article compares inpatient and outpatient medical and behavioral health service utilization and costs between veterans experiencing brief and ongoing episodes of housing instability. Among 5794 veterans screening positive for housing instability, 4934 (85%) were experiencing brief and 860 (15%) ongoing instability. The average total annual incremental cost associated with ongoing versus brief episodes of housing instability was estimated at $7573, with the bulk of this difference found in inpatient services. The findings suggest that efforts aimed at preventing extended episodes of housing instability could potentially result in substantial cost offsets for the VA health care system.

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