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Update on Edmonton’s Plan to End Homelessness

News Release
Update on Edmonton’s Plan to End Homelessness

The City of Edmonton and Homeward Trust Edmonton are partnering together to update Edmonton’s Plan to End Homelessness. The update will allow the City and Homeward Trust to take stock of the progress made on each of the plan’s five goals, and identify where strategies need to be adjusted in order to achieve the plan’s mission of ending homelessness in our city.

“While we are making headway on a number of the goals
in the current plan, there is still a long way to go,” says Mayor
Don Iveson. “We know that investing in housing reduces costs
in our health care and justice systems. Aligning efforts between
federal, provincial and local governments will mean better policy outcomes, healthier citizens, less social disorder, stronger communities and more stable financial planning. With the upcoming provincial and federal budgets, we need to see an investment in housing that reflects the incredible potential it can provide to our city and our province.”

The City and Homeward Trust have started meeting with key stakeholders in the housing and social services sectors to gain their perspective on current efforts to end homelessness in our city, critical gaps and possible future actions – and now they want to hear from Edmontonians!

“Community consultations formed the backbone of the existing plan,” says Jay Freeman, Executive Director of Housing and Homelessness at the City. “Ensuring we continue to gain perspectives from a wide range of people, both inside and outside the housing and social service sectors, is a critical part of our plan update process.”

Edmontonians can provide feedback through an online survey on endhomlessnessyeg.ca – the website for the update to Edmonton’s Plan to End Homelessness. The survey will be open from March 13 until April 13, 2017.

In addition to the survey, the website also includes key information on:

Progress made to date in reaching the five goals set out in Edmonton’s Plan to End Homelessness, challenges in reaching those goals, and where we need to go from here

Homelessness in our city, including debunking common myths

How Edmontonians can get involved and take action, and

The guiding principles of the plan, including the Housing First philosophy

Edmontonians can help spread the word about the website, survey and the effort needed to help bring an end to homelessness in our city by using the hashtag #endhomelessnessyeg.

Implementation of the Housing First philosophy has been integral to the success of the plan to date, housing and supporting 6,000 people since 2009. But despite these successes, 1,752 people still identify as experiencing homelessness in our city. (Homeless Count, October 2016).

“Edmonton has emerged as a leader in Housing First, and has the capacity to tackle this complex issue,” says Susan McGee, Chief Executive Officer of Homeward Trust Edmonton. “But homelessness is not ended by a program. It takes a community committed to achieve that goal. That is why it so important for Edmontonians to be updated on current efforts and provide feedback to inform our priorities going forward. After all, homelessness brings with it a great financial and even greater human cost.”

Homeward Trust Edmonton manages the implementation of the plan, including conducting the biennial Homeless Count and the Housing First program through partner community agencies. Edmonton was Canada’s second city, and Alberta the first province, to create and implement plans to end homelessness.

For more information:

endhomelessnessyeg.ca

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