This demonstration supports housing solutions for the homeless.
This initiative sets out how to convert emergency shelter spaces into affordable housing. This approach shifts focus from managing people while homeless, to permanently rehousing and supporting them. On-site supports such as food security, court services and financial support help ease the transition of clients from homeless to housed. The Salvation Army Centre of Hope aims to demonstrate the impacts of that approach for individuals and communities. The work will provide practical help for emergency shelter operators across Canada. Results from the demonstration aim to encourage operators to explore the shelter-to-housing conversion, leading to an increase in affordable housing capacity
Practical considerations around design and integration into physical spaces.
Processes for administering private rooms.
Policies to support the delivery of private rooms.
Project scope and expected outcomes
Since 2004, The Salvation Army Centre of Hope has been providing pay-for-stay private units co-sited in a building offering emergency shelter. This model was provided in congruence with an increase in demand for supported and affordable housing options. This demonstration project explores this model of affordable housing for individuals with high needs, including supports on-site.
Initial results show that residents were very positive of the option of having a private room. This added stability to their lives, provided safety, and was often contrasted as being superior to a dorm stay in a shelter. However, there were also some limitations to this living experience. Private rooms had more rules than living in your own apartment, such as not allowing guests and having very specific times for meals. Being in a building with mixed services including withdrawal management and emergency shelter beds meant that residents were immersed with other people with complex health and social challenges. The Centre of Hope is already applying what it learned from this demonstration project.
Shifting to a new service model within a building traditionally offering emergency shelter can be a significant task. This involves changes to infrastructure, new policies, and new staffing roles. The guide developed through the demonstration provides the resources for integrating affordable housing options into services traditionally focused on emergency shelter.
Final outcomes from the demonstrations project will be shared through presentations at conferences, workshops, and through a webinar in April 2020. Innovation-Research@cmhc.ca
Project Team: The Salvation Army London Centre of Hope
Location: London, Ontario
Project Collaborators / Partners:
Centre for Research on Health Equity and Social Inclusion,
Get More Information: Contact CMHC at Innovation-Research@cmhc.ca.
Learn with the Practice Guide (PDF) - how to integrate affordable housing options into emergency shelter.
Impact on residents presented on Housing Stories from Canadians.