Community Advisory Board (CAB)

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a community-based program that relies on communities to determine their own needs and to develop appropriate projects. The HPS supports 61 designated communities and some small, rural, northern and Aboriginal communities to develop local solutions to homelessness. Dufferin County is one of the designated communities where the Federal Government has made a commitment to maintain annual funding for housing and homelessness from 2014-2018.

Dufferin County is served by a Community Advisory Board (CAB), a steering committee that develops a Community Plan (CP). The CP priority is: “To reduce homelessness through a Housing First (HF) approach.” HF focuses on moving people who are experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness as rapidly as possible from the street or emergency shelter into permanent housing with supports that vary according to client need. HPS funds are invested in projects that support the community priorities identified in the plan. Currently Dufferin HPS helps fund a Housing First Support Coordinator.

CAB includes a range of partners from the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. These partners work together to develop plans for ending homelessness in their communities.

The County of Dufferin act as the Community Entity (CE) to flow HPS funds to CAB from the Federal Government.

The Dufferin CAB have joined the 20,000 Homes Campaign.

20,000 Homes Campaign

The 20,000 Homes Campaign is a national movement of communities working together to permanently house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people by July 1, 2018. The campaign is spear headed by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

The campaign supports a grassroots non-partisan advocacy effort to build public support for ending homelessness and political support for renewed federal and provincial investment in housing and support services.

The campaign was inspired by the successful 100,000 Homes Campaign in the United States, but has been adapted to work in a Canadian context.

The campaign is based on the belief that homelessness is a national emergency requiring urgent and immediate action, where the time has come to stop managing homelessness, and start ending it.

CAB will complete at least one Registry (count of the homeless population) and we will engage volunteers who want to contribute to implementing a registry and taking forward action: neighbours, people with lived experience, local businesses, housing and service providers, faith-based groups and government agencies.

Campaign Principles

  • Housing First: permanent, safe, appropriate and affordable housing with the support necessary to sustain it, happens first and fast
  • Knowing who’s out there: every homeless person is known by name because someone has deliberately gone out on the streets to find them, assess their needs and meet them where they are at.
  • Tracking our progress: Local teams use regularly collected, person-specific data to accurately track their progress toward ending homelessness.
  • Improving local systems: building coordinated housing and support systems that are simple to navigate, while targeting resources quickly and efficiently to the people who need it the most.
  • Resolutely focused on the mission: not interested in who gets credit or who gets blame. Only interested in achieving the objective and ending homelessness.
  • Taking action: favour action over perfection and will find a way to meet the objectives, despite the challenges that will come.

Core Elements

The 20,000 Homes Campaign will assist communities to implement the seven (7) core elements of the campaign:

  • 1. Knowing every homeless person by name and understanding each person’s needs and preferences. The 20,000 Homes Campaign will train communities on how to use a Registry Week, coordinated outreach and a triage assessment tool to have actionable data on every person experiencing homeless.
  • 2. Implementing Housing First in a way that makes sense for each community. Research has demonstrated that housing homeless people as quickly as possible without pre-conditions such as sobriety, is not only more effective but saves money. The 20,000 Homes Campaign will assist communities with implementing Housing First as well as teaching communities how their existing services and housing can be transformed to a housing first philosophy.
  • 3. Understanding the community’s unique set of strengths and challenges through the use of a Community Self-Assessment Tool. By completing this brief tool, communities will be able to target specific practices or policies for improvement and can track their progress over the life of the campaign.
  • 4. Using data to track progress and to make decisions to improve a community’s homeless programs and the system as a whole. Campaign communities will agree to report their monthly housing placement directly to the campaign. In return, campaign communities will receive assistance with securing baseline data on the number of people experiencing homelessness, the historic inflow of people falling into and their rate of placing homeless people into permanent housing. In addition to this critical data, communities will receive monthly housing placement targets and assistance in meeting these targets.
  • 5. Building a Coordinated Homelessness System of Care in which communities move from multiple silos to a single system able to quickly find housing for anyone experiencing homelessness. Communities will learn how to:
    • i. Use a common intake and assessment process to triage people experiencing homelessness based on their needs and preferences
    • ii. Coordinate outreach and the work leading toward housing placement including a common housing and services application form
    • iii. Maintain a real-time list of housing vacancies and service openings throughout the community
    • iv. Match individuals and families to the housing and services they need to end their homelessness.
  • 6. Learning from other communities across Canada. Every community has something they can teach other communities and things they can learn from others. Rather than working in relative isolation, the campaign will provide multiple avenues for sharing best practices and developing new solutions together.
  • 7. Providing a united voice at a national and provincial level to secure the housing and resources necessary to end homelessness in Canada. Communities can become part of a grassroots non-partisan advocacy effort to build public support for ending homelessness and political support

Dufferin Campaign

At CAB’s meeting on Wednesday July 20th, 2016, the committee voted to join the 20,000 Homes campaign in order to strengthen and promote the ongoing work in the area of HF.

The committee then formed a ‘Project Leadership’ sub committee which held their first meeting on Tuesday August 2, 2016 and started the ground work for the campaign.

The committee will meet weekly and consists of representatives from the County of Dufferin (Housing Department), Supportive Housing In Peel (SHIP), Choices Youth Shelter, Family Transition Place (FTP) and Orangeville Food Bank.

Important Dates

Rather than a full registry week the committee were mindful that a 2-day count may be more resource appropriate.

  • Training for volunteers on Saturday 15th and Sunday 16th October
  • The count is scheduled for Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th October 2016.

Then after the details from the count have been compiled into a report there will be an official launch of the report and a Call to Action to garner more ongoing support and raise awareness for homelessness services.

  • The Call to Action is scheduled for Tuesday November 22nd, 2016 to coincide with National Housing Day.

The Project Leadership committee will be working with the wider CAB committee and other local agencies to recruit volunteers to help with the count/data collection.

CAB will also work to raise awareness within the homeless population to let them the count is coming and that their participation is needed. (Participants will be given an honorarium as a thank you for taking part in the survey.)