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What is the Housing First Program?

While variations within Housing First models exist, the two main components remain stable:

  1. The program provides access to housing as quickly as possible (hence Housing First); and 
  2. The program does not require treatment and / or sobriety as a prerequisite to housing.

The Housing First model is simple: provide supports for individuals and families to find housing first, and then combine housing with supportive services in the areas of mental and physical health, substance abuse, education, and employment for up to one year.

Am I a fit for the Housing First Program?

  • Do you reside in the City of Grande Prairie?
  • Are you over the age of 18?
  • Are you homeless or have you been in the past?
  • Do you need a support worker to assist you to find and maintain a home?

If you answered yes to all of the above questions you should contact Centralized Intake and Assessment at:

YMCA Northern Alberta
(Assessment Office)
#200, 10006 101 Avenue Grande Prairie, AB T8V 0Y1
Telephone number: 780-357-7445

How do I become part of the program?

Entry into the Housing First Program is based on assessed need not first come, first served.  Below is the program entry process:

  1. You can be referred to the program or you can directly contact an Intake and Assessment Worker to set up an appointment for an initial screening.
  2. At the initial screening, the worker will do a complete assessment of your situation using a specialized tool to determine your level of need for the service.
  3. Once the assessment is completed, the worker will determine if you are eligible for the Housing First Program, under either the Prolonged Intensive Case Management or the Rapid Re-Housing Service Delivery Model. If you are not eligible, the worker will provide information and referrals to other community organizations to assist you with your current needs.
  4. Within three (3) days of acceptance into the Housing First Program, you will meet again with your Intake and Assessment Worker and the Housing First Agency to whom you have been assigned, to meet with your worker who will support you for the duration of the time in the program.

How Housing First works:

  1. A Housing First agency worker engages a homeless client
  2. The agency worker helps the client secure appropriate housing by accessing resources in the community
  3. Clients enter into an agreement with a landlord for housing
  4. Supports are provided to the client for at least 1 year to help client reach self-sufficiency
  5. Clients reach self-reliance and successfully exit the program
  6. Grande Prairie is a healthier community

Current Initiatives

  • Annual review of our Community Multi-Year Plan
  • Centralized Intake and Assessments for Homeless Individuals and Families
  • Landlord Relations Position
  • Homeless Count
  • Public Education and Awareness on Housing First and Homeless Initiatives

Current Partnerships

  • Aligned with the Government of Alberta's Provincial Plan to end Homelessness
  • Partnerships with community agencies and members to address gaps in service and quality service delivery to our homeless population
  • Community Advisory Board on Homelessness (CABH)
  • Connect Day – Partnership with HIV North
  • Seven Cities Network member

Housing First Landlords

What are the benefits of being a Housing First landlord?
  • Participating in Grande Prairie’s Multi-Year Plan to End Homelessness
  • Participating in building a better community
  • Rental Enhancement Program for Housing First tenants
  • Third party direct to landlord rental payment established with tenant
  • Eligibility of financial support for landlords to cover any incurred damages
  • Support for landlords

Can a private landlord participate?

Yes, any landlord or property manger can participate in the Housing First program.

Information for Service Providers

The City of Grande Prairie is committed to ending homelessness, but we can’t do it alone. Service Providers such as non-profit agencies and health professionals are a critical component of the Multi-Year Plan to End Homelessness (PDF 1210KB).

Sometimes people are in a financial crisis and do not fit for the Housing First Program. A referral to Income Supports may be the best option for assistance when someone is not homeless.

 

Alberta Works Benefits

Please visit the Income Supports Benefits Website to find information on eligibility criteria, benefit amounts, online calculators, and downloadable forms.

 

Last updated: 6/4/2015 1:43:20 PM