Since early 2012, the London CAReS Housing Stability Program has successfully housed over 100 individuals identified as persistently homeless providing intensive case management support to those individuals. The program's goal is to support their housing stability by assisting with the transition into a new home, neighborhood and community.
We have learned that there are a number of risk factors that can contribute to the potential of someone losing their housing and re-experiencing homelessness once housed. As a result, London CAReS developed the Housing Support Gift Fund– a flexible fund that understands that there are a number of factors that contribute to a house becoming a home and achieving housing stability. The fund is intended to promote the overall housing stability of the participant and therefore should be used in a highly individualized manner with few parameters. Areas where the fund has been used include: rent gift, rental arrears, damages & repairs, re-housing & setting up housing and utilities.
Important questions are asked to assess the appropriateness of its use before allocations are made, including:
- Have all other formal service/resource options in the community been exhausted before applying for the fund?
- How does the use of the fund help secure or maintain housing for the participant?
- Would the use of the fund divert individuals from using emergency shelters and re-experiencing homelessness?
As individuals stabilize in their housing there is greater focus on health, community, neighbourhood belonging and social inclusion. Connection to neighbourhood, natural supports, positive peer groups, group and individually-based recreational activities has been identified as a need by the participants as a next step in their continued success.