Centralized Intake means that anyone experiencing difficulty with housing are able to go to one place or one agency and receive support, direction, and referrals for assistance. Their primary role is to determine first whether an individual is appropriate for a Housing First housing team. If so, then Centralized Intake will conduct further information gathering to be better equipped to triage and refer these people to the housing team best suited to their needs. If an individual is not appropriate for Housing First, the Central Intake programs will then provide referrals and guidance to the most appropriate supports in the community for them. At times they may play a less formal role in basic Case Management to assist those that are not Housing First appropriate yet require some level of navigation assistance.
HomeBASE Centralized Intake and Referral
HomeBASE is managed by Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) and serves as the Centralized Intake and Referral program for the adult homeless population. This means they work with people from the ages of 25 and older. HomeBASE receives referrals from the general community, the adult emergency shelter, the Diversion Liaison, correction institutions, hospitals, treatment centres or from Participants themselves. HomeBASE provides Housing First referrals to Community Outreach, the Aboriginal Housing First Team, Post Release/Discharge, Clinical Intervention and Support, and the Faith in Action program. HomeBASE also has a mobile street outreach team designed to regularly make connections with chronically homeless individuals in effort to move them closer to housing and away from difficulties in the community.
Additionally HomeBASE houses the Diversion program. This services focuses on working directly with the Diversion Liaison at the Adult Emergency Shelter to ensure those needing to be assessed for Housing First appropriateness are connected to HomeBASE. If they are not Housing First appropriate, an action plan will be implemented within 1 week to assist Participants in exiting the shelter as quickly as possible. The Diversion program also takes referrals from HomeBASE for those in jeopardy of being evicted or losing their housing. Case management will ensue to assist these individuals in saving their current housing or locating more appropriate housing and then providing follow-up supports for up to 1 year to stabilize the individual or family.
Youth Hub – Youth Centralized Intake and Referral
Youth Hub is a program of McMan and provides the Centralized Intake services for youth24 and under. Referrals are received from the general community, both the youth and adult emergency shelter, the Diversion Liaison, Child and Family Services, and Participants themselves. The Hub provides Housing First referrals to Woods Housing First team, Aboriginal Housing First Team, Community Outreach Youth Team, and Post Release/Discharge (hospital only).
Aboriginal Housing First
Aboriginal Housing First Team is a program through the Blackfoot Family Lodge Society designed to provide Housing First supports to men, women, and families transitioning from Reserve to urban life in Lethbridge. “Transitioning off Reserve” is defined by Participants having been living in the city for 6 months or less and/or still connected financially to the Reserve by way of a Social Development office. The individuals or families must be leaving the Reserve for reasons of necessity such as fleeing violence, overcrowding, unfit living conditions, and homelessness.
Clinical Intervention and Support (CIS)
Clinical Intervention and Support (CIS) is an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team and is managed by Alberta Health Services. Their mandate or role is to provide Housing First supports including housing and follow-up for the most vulnerable and complex chronically homeless individuals. CIS Participants are characterized by facing chronic mental health, physical health, and addiction issues and are not connected to mainstream services. The clinical nature of the team allows them to provide direct supports in these three areas as Participants choose to have them. Referrals to the CIS team can originate from either Central Intake program or from another Housing First team.
Community Outreach is program managed by CMHA that is designed to work specifically with the high complexity Housing First male or female Participants and families.
Faith In Action Against Homelessness (FIAAH)
Faith in Action Against Homelessness (FIAAH), overseen by CityNet, is a new Housing First project created to address a gap in housing services available for individuals that are not deemed fully appropriate for other Housing First teams yet still require a level of Case Management support. FIAAH is made up of faith based groups of four to six volunteers each with the mandate of providing housing support, follow-up supports, and role modeling and mentoring for one homeless individual or family. These Participants will be referred to FIAAH through HomeBASE.
Post Release/Discharge is also a support program managed by McMan Youth and Family Services. Post Release also works with Participants that are often very complex however they have a mandate to provide housing and follow-up supports to individuals with no fixed address coming out of corrections, hospital, and treatment environments. They have established expertise, skills and formal processes with these mainstream services which allow them to more efficiently work with this population often providing housing immediately upon release.
Transition to Independence (TIP)
Transition to Independence (TIP) is a unique partnership with the City of Lethbridge Bringing Lethbridge Home and Child and Family Services South Zone (CFS). This partnership resulted in the TIP Housing Fiirst program managed by McMan Youth and Family Services and the Youth Hub. Transition to Independence provides supports to youth up to 24 years old who are transitioning out of CFS care. Referrals must go through the Youth Hub and come from the CFS Case Manager and Supervisor associated with the youth being referred. For a youth to be eligible for this program, they have to have CFS Status and there has to be evidence of the youth wanting to participate in the services provided.
Wood’s Youth Housing First Team
Woods Youth Housing First Teamis based at Woods Homes in Lethbridge and provides Housing First support to youth 18 and under without status with Child and Family Services. Most of their Participants are being housed in market housing. Woods also works with youth from 18-24 without status who are a lower complexity but still require a level of support.
YWCA Transition and Outreach Team
YWCA Transition and Outreach is a Housing First program geared toward providing supports to women who are transitioning out the YWCA Harbour House domestic violence shelter. This program is unique in that they do not receive referrals from either of the central intake agencies. With both programs being located at the YWCA, the staff at Harbour House will complete an assessment after the Participant enters the shelter with anyone that is identified as likely to have no fixed address at the end of their allotted time at Harbour House.