Last week the City of Hamilton launched Coming Together to End Homelessness: Hamilton’s Systems Planning Framework with support from Dr. Alina Turner (Turner Strategies/ HelpSeeker). The Framework guides the way forward for Hamilton to effectively eliminate chronic homelessness by 2025, while ensuring an integrated systems approach is developed for homelessness prevention as well.

Using a coordinated system’s approach, Hamilton will ensure that interventions are coordinated and working across the social safety net to help people secure housing and remain successfully housed long term. A series of key performance measures will be tracked to demonstrate progress and identify opportunities for continuous improvement.

Key highlights include:

  • Consideration for the intersectionality of risk factors associated with homelessness;
  • Acknowledgement of a unique definition of homelessness for Indigenous people;
  • Program and system-level standards of practice; and
  • Shifts from emergency response to diversion and homelessness prevention.

3 Gamechangers

Here are the 3 key things Hamilton is working on through this Framework poised to be game-changes and why:

  1. Expanding Coordinated Access across Systems. Rather than sticking to only coordinating homelessness services, the City and local partners are systematically expanding Coordinated Access internally and externally across thousands of services leveraging a $4.7B/year safety net in charity revenues alone to prevent and end homelessness.
  2. Looking Beyond Housing and Homelessness. Noting that housing is part of a broader set of needs, Hamilton stakeholders are looking to diverse dimensions of wellbeing to ensure homelessness prevention and housing stability leveraging health, education, corrections, poverty reduction etc.
  3. Operationalizing the Right to Housing. Looking at how to implement a rights-based approach, Hamilton stakeholders have been part of a Duty-to-Assist design process initiated by a unique partnership between the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, A Way Home Canada, and Bridgeable to advance prevention particularly related to youth homelessness. (Read more about the Duty to Assist work in Hamilton here.)

We look forward to sharing our learnings in future blogs, webinar and meetings – in the meantime, to learn more, get in touch with Amanda or read more here.