Homelessness is back on the front page in our city again this Spring. Concerns about camping in parks along with the interest in micro-housing solutions means that the public eye is focused on the issue to a degree not seen since the Coalition was first founded in 2007.
It is fortuitous then that the Coalition just released Creating Homes Enhancing Communities (CHEC) a detailed plan that highlights how much housing and supports would be required to end chronic homelessness in Greater Victoria. It speaks specifically to the amount of supportive housing required to house those who need more than just financial support to remain housed.
The CHEC plan provides a complex analysis to what is really a simple solution. We need to provide more housing and more supports using a housing first methodology. A great example of a successful housing first program in the region is Streets to Homes; which has placed 120 individuals experiencing homelessness into market housing and provides them with the required support to remain stably housed. Non-housing solutions are temporary and although they can alleviate the immediate pressure they won’t end homelessness.
This Infographic shows details the basic numbers of the plan with regards to how much housing we need and what it will cost.
The first step
The Coalition is already taking action on this report. The first step is to tackle the challenge of housing the group identified as High Needs+. These individuals are the most challenging to house and at the same time have the most interactions with the health care and justice systems. They are clearly our top priority. We are pulling together a special task force to determine what the unique solutions to this challenge are – and more importantly – how will be pay for it.
Watch this space for updates on progress as the Coalition moves on this ambitious plan.