Since 2008 JPHAWC has been a part of the Housing First strategy in Edmonton. Our agency was the first agency in Alberta to implement it in 2006, without government financial support. We operated 2 pilot programs for the Provincial Government in 2007 before they implemented and funded the housing first program province wide in 2009. Housing First is a housing program for chronically homeless individuals, couples and families. Clients of the program are housed in market apartments scattered across the city. Once housed each household is then assigned a housing case worker who works with the clients to help build housing stability into their lives. In most cases this work takes a minimum of one year, but in some cases stability can take years to develop. Throughout that time the support worker is there helping people to overcome the barriers to independent living and housing stability.
There were fifteen staff on the housing first team in 2014 that supported over 160 people in the housing first program. Since 2007 we have housed over 750 formerly homeless people with over 50 of those being housed in 2014.
Murray Soroka, Executive Director