What comes to mind when you think of homelessness?
What is known as “homelessness” is often the result of circumstances and trauma such as generational poverty, drug addiction and abuse.
We find more individuals on the streets are struggling with mental health or other medical issues. For those who have been incarcerated, they can fluctuate between recidivism and homelessness if they don’t have any options once they are released.
Combined with a lack of income, conflicts with family and disagreements with landlords, being on the streets feels like their only option.
What are cities and provinces doing to address homelessness?
Quite a bit
Cities throughout Canada are working to reach Functional Zero, defined as three of less individuals experiencing chronic homelessness for three consecutive months.
While we celebrate this accomplishment, we also know that eradicating homelessness will continue to be a significant challenge.
Because the cycle revolves around isolation and hopelessness.
- For people without resources
- For policies that include no accountability
- For a conversation that focuses on some results but not the whole picture.
We have seen the full story of homelessness and know that hopelessness doesn’t have the last word.
How do we create a community of wholeness where hope guides all that we do?
Our 40-plus years of experience has shown us that the best way to wholeness is to have an intentional approach that gives each person their agency and dignity.
We follow the Continuum of Care, creating an integrated system that provides for specific needs of each person, wherever they are in their life. It’s anchored on three pillars:
That all basic needs are met, including physiological, psychological, and cultural needs. This includes harm reduction, access to counseling and mental health resources, and trauma-informed spaces and policies.
That each person is known, accepted and able to contribute. We affirm their sense of identity, help them reunite with family members and work with them to know their unique contribution to the community.
That each person is led by purpose, inspiration, and faith. They learn life skills, have opportunities to work or volunteer, have access to religious and spiritual spaces and know that their success is something we cherish and celebrate.