The Outreach & Support Services Initiative (OSSI) is a Provincial program through Alberta Human Services that provides municipalities and community based organizations with funding to assist homeless individuals to obtain housing and provide the support services and referrals required to maintain long-term housing stability through the Housing First approach.
The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a Federal program formed to help governments and community based organizations partner to alleviate homelessness in Canadian communities through a Housing First approach. The HPS encourages innovative and progressive partnerships to develop long-term local solutions to homelessness at the community level.
To this end, the City of Lethbridge and SHIA have come together to develop a long-term strategy to:
- make informed decisions that address and prevent homelessness
- prevent the challenges that face some of our most vulnerable citizens
Additional information about the committees is available under the Local Reports and Links section under 'Terms of Reference'.
The realization of these goals is made possible by the work of several committees and organizations, including:
City Council, City of Lethbridge
As the Community Entity, the role of the City of Lethbridge is outlined in the Affordable Housing Policy.
SHIA Committee of Council
Social Housing In Action (SHIA) is the community-based organization dedicated to ending homelessness through a Housing First approach, prevention of homelessness and provision of support services to end homelessness in Lethbridge. SHIA represents a healthy and collaborative cross-section of Lethbridge and community leaders, organizations and includes a range of partners including SHIA an integral part of the Provincial 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.
1. SHIA is the Community Advisory Board to oversee the implementation of "Bringing Lethbridge Home" Plan to End Homelessness,
2. Provides recommendations and approval of various projects, and
3. Identifies and communicates the housing and support needs of the community to City Council and other orders of government.
Bringing Lethbridge Home
The Bringing Lethbridge Home strategic plan to end homelessness in Lethbridge, is an initiative to ensure the homelessness is addressed and ended in Lethbridge. Homelessness is one of the most critical issues facing our community, so this might appear to be bold, even unrealistic plan, but it is POSSIBLE. We believe that offering the providing "appropriate housing" and providing "wrap around supports", we can literally bring homes to the hundreds of individuals and families whose circumstances have forced them to live without adequate, safe and affordable housing in Lethbridge. As we continue to build partnerships, creative initiatives through innovative strategies and providing enhanced, coordinated and client-centred services for people who are homeless or near homeless, homelessness can become a thing of the past.
The mandate and purpose of the Leader’s Council is to:
1. Oversee the Implementation of the Bringing Lethbridge Home - 5 Year Plan to end homelessness in Lethbridge by 2014 (2009)
2. Provide direction and support as required to oversee the activities of the sub-committees and Task Forces that are appointed to implement the 5 Year Plan.
3. Engage the community and ensure community based process is utilized in the implementation of the Strategic Plan.
4. Ensure the identification of the needs in accordance with the Plan and Housing First approach.
5. Prioritize the housing needs as identified by the community and current research.
6. Ensure the engagement of appropriate protocols and processes to strengthen Aboriginal, New Canadian and Persons with Disabilities participation in the activities of Social Housing in Action.
7. Monitor project outcomes within the continuum of housing framework and ensure appropriate and current improvement plans occur.
Housing First Committee
The mandate and purpose of the Housing First Committee, SHIA is to oversee the successful implementation, evaluation and maintenance of the fidelity of Housing First, Intensive Case Management and ACT within the teams and the support services and to:
1. Function as a community advisory committee for the Housing First Programs at the operational level including the development and monitoring of inter-agency protocols, processes and the Housing First Standards of Practice
2. Identify, monitor and report on system/program needs and gaps in the community
3. Provide input and support of the operational direction for the implementation of Housing First within the funded agencies, teams and support agencies.
4. Monitor and provide feedback on the impact and effectiveness of Intensive Case Management.
5. Foster a positive community of practice amongst service providers
6. Facilitate positive landlord relationships in the community to support Housing First
7. Report to the SHIA Leader’s Council and the SHIA Committee of Council through the Chair.
8. Identify the professional development, training and education needs of the Housing First teams, organizations, support services and front-line staff.
As a Subcommittee of the Community Leader’s Council, Social Housing in Action, the purpose of the Housing Committee is to:
1. Explore, plan, design, support and encourage a variety of innovative, feasible and inclusive housing options to fulfill the “Bringing Lethbridge Home” 5 year plan to prevent and end homelessness. These housing options will adequately meet the housing needs of Housing First clients, people living with lower incomes and those at risk of becoming homeless. These options can include the following to meet the housing priorities that result in permanent tenancy:
- Stabilization Units
- Emergency Shelter
- Permanent Supportive and Supported Housing
- Boarding Houses
- Second Stage Housing
- Single family dwellings
- Multi-family dwellings
- Co-op Housing and
- Other innovative housing options
2. Facilitate the design, selection, and implementation of innovative affordable housing initiatives through education and awareness, demonstration projects and the support of funding processes in collaboration with various stakeholders at all levels of government, developers and planners;
3. Develop and implement a community-based system and Housing Strategy and Plan for the inclusive design and initiation of various affordable housing projects to meet the current and future housing and support needs within the community;
4. Provide recommendations to the SHIA Committee of Council through the Community Leader’s Council regarding the housing needs and priorities,
procurement and funding of housing initiatives
5. Initiate and maintain a mutually a positive and beneficial working relationship with landlords to facilitate meeting needs of tenants and landlords
6. Promote collaborative housing partnerships and initiatives, neighborhood development and inclusion;
7. Monitor and report the housing needs and assets within Lethbridge.
Research & Evaluation Committee
As a subcommittee of the Community Leader’s Council, Social Housing in Action, the purpose of Research and Evaluation Subcommittee is to:
1. Ensure an Evaluation Framework is operational to continuously improve and learn. This will occur through the monitoring and evaluation of the achievement of the outcomes of the implementation of the Goals and Strategies of “Bringing Lethbridge Home” Community Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness and the Housing First Standards of Practice;
2. Identify evaluation and research requirements and opportunities, coordinate research projects and review research results and monitor dissemination and implementation of the results in practice as appropriate. Projects include the annual Homeless Census (Point in Time Count) and annual Outcome Evaluation Report.
3. Ensure that all the committees and stakeholders have access to required data and analysis, information and results of research and outcome evaluation initiatives;
4. Design and implement a standard process for reporting activities, effectiveness and outcomes for all the subcommittees on an annual basis and report to the Community Leader’s Council identifying achievements and improvement opportunities;
5. To monitor trends relating to homelessness and affordable housing and report to the Community Leader’s Council on a quarterly basis;
6. Ensure an outcome evaluation system is appropriate and effective in continuous learning and improvement.
Community & Government Relations Committee
As a Subcommittee of the Community Leader’s Council, Social Housing in Action, the purpose of the Community and Government Relations Committee is to:
1. Develop, coordinate and oversee a communication plan throughout the implementation of the Bringing Lethbridge Home Plan to End Homelessness and to:
- Create public awareness and understanding of housing and homelessness issues in Lethbridge;
- Be proactive in community, government and media relations;
- Inform the community and stakeholders of new initiatives and events;
- Assist the Community Leader’s Council to engage the government, community and stakeholders; and
- Provide direction and effective communication strategies to the Community Leader’s Council, Sub-Committees and Task Forces as required.
2. Provide the Leader’s Council, Sub-Committees and Task Forces with direction and strategies for effective community engagement, public participation and communication.