July 6, 2017
The City of Edmonton and Homeward Trust released A Place to Call Home – Edmonton’s Updated Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness today.
“Valuable perspectives from a wide range of stakeholders, both inside and outside the housing and social service sectors, people with lived experience, and thousands of Edmontonians formed the backbone of the plan update,” said Walter Trocenko, Manager for the Real Estate and Housing Branch at the City. “This is truly a community plan. The City has also been diligently advocating and working with other orders of government and its partners, recognizing that ending homelessness is an even higher priority for Edmontonians in 2017 than it was in 2010.”
The updated plan sets priorities to 2026. It is founded on three key goals: eliminating chronic and episodic homelessness by 2022; preventing future homelessness; and developing an integrated systems response to homelessness. Each key goal has its own associated targets and strategies.
Ending and preventing homelessness will require renewed leadership and strategic investment across stakeholders and partners. The Plan calls on Edmonton’s homeless-serving system to maintain focus on responding to immediate needs of vulnerable Edmontonians experiencing homelessness, and enhance integration with affordable housing, prevention, and poverty reduction supports and efforts, such as EndPoverty Edmonton.
Since the Plan’s inception in 2009, the Edmonton community has made strong progress. More than 6,000 people have been housed and supported under the Plan and partners have gained a better understanding about the scope of homelessness in our city and what is required to end it.
“During the past eight years, we have deployed proven interventions across funded programs, developed evaluation frameworks and unitized data that has allowed us to course correct in real time to maintain a high level of performance across those programs, and improved the coordination and integration of the homeless serving system as a whole,” said Susan McGee, CEO of Homeward Trust Edmonton. “Over the next three years, we will house and support 4,000 more people experiencing homelessness through the Housing First Program throughout our city. We will also have the systems in place to ensure everyone who seeks shelter or services will be connected to housing and supports within 21 days.”
The updated Plan recognizes and responds to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action through an explicit acknowledgement that Indigenous homelessness is a colonial legacy. In addition, it is anticipated to yield cost avoidance of at least $230 million in reduced usage of health, justice, and other systems.
The updated Plan is targeted to go before City Council Executive Committee in the fall 2017 for endorsement and to allow Edmontonians an opportunity to share their views on the plan with members of Council.
For more information and to read Edmonton’s Updated Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness, visit endhomelessnessyeg.ca. Spread the news by using the hashtag #endhomelessnessyeg.