Best Practices in Ending Homelessness
1. Assessment and Targeting
All partners in the homelessness system use a common assessment tool to identify the acuity of need of each household seeking assistance and determine which service or services will be best able to support the household toward its housing goals.
2. Service Coordination and Integrated Systems
All partners in the homelessness system work together to plan their services to reduce gaps and avoid duplication of services. A coordinated intake process streamlines access to services for clients.
3. Emergency Accommodation
Emergency housing is a last resort; active efforts to divert households to safe temporary housing in the community are made before admitting them to a motel, the Women's Centre or other emergency accommodation such as a crisis bed at Chatham House, and all activities and services provided while the household is in temporary accommodation are focused on securing housing and connecting with community-based supports to address other needs.
The creation of emergency shelter facilities is not a best practice for ending homelessness, because although temporary accommodation is sometimes required, only permanent housing options and sufficient assistance to secure an appropriate option enables individuals and families to become housed.
4. Housing with Supports
Households that become homeless and are assessed as having mid- or high-acuity are assisted to return to permanent housing and provided with rental assistance and appropriate supports to help them Chatham-Kent Homelessness Assessment & Plan achieve stability and increase their independence while living in permanent housing. The length of the support period is determined by the needs of the household.
5. Data and Planning
A robust system should be in place to gather and share demographic data about the homeless population within the community and program statistics, and this information is used for ongoing service planning.
6. Focus on Outcomes
All partners within the housing system are actively monitoring and reporting on the housing outcomes of their services.
Our work plan framework consists of three major strategies with key objectives that encompass clearly defined activities.
I. Housing Supply
To maintain & increase existing and future housing supply through improving affordability, maintenance and diversification.
Chatham-Kent Housing & Homelessness Plan Ways to Maintain & Increase Housing Supply:
II. Housing Stability
To promote housing stability by expanding access to emergency, transitional and financial supports within a Housing First Framework.
Chatham-Kent Housing & Homelessness Plan Ways to Maintain & Increase Housing Stability:
- Expand access and availability to emergency housing
- Expand access and availability to transitional housing
- Implement financial supports to promote housing stability
- Promote Housing Stability
III. Advocacy, Partnerships, and Service Coordination
To promote, advocate, and create awareness of housing needs while strengthening partnerships and service coordination
Chatham-Kent Housing & Homelessness Plan Ways for Advocacy, Partnerships, and Service Coordination
- Community Awareness and Promotion
- Service Coordination
- Tenant and Landlord Support
Homelessness Plan for Chatham-Kent Vision, Target and Objectives:
- By 2024, Chatham-Kent will have a community of service providers who work collaboratively to prevent homelessness.
- To ensure that no individual or family in the community is without stable housing for longer than 30 days.
Objectives and Recommended Actions:
- Strengthen partnerships between service providers that support people who are homeless or at-risk in Chatham-Kent
- Promote service coordination
- Maintain a focus on homelessness prevention
- Expand access to emergency accommodation within a Housing First framework
- Implement transitional financial and other supports to promote housing stability
- Adopt common metrics to homelessness data for program planning and performance monitoring
- Engage in advocacy and awareness-raising