Newmarket – The Regional Municipality of York is launching a new program called Home Now to help people experiencing chronic homelessness more quickly move into permanent housing.
“Every York Region resident deserves the right to have a safe place to call home – no matter their situation,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “Our new Home Now program is based on international best practices and tailored to York Region to help those who are most vulnerable in our community.”
The Home Now program will help people who are chronically homeless find and keep housing, as well as get support for other complex needs such as mental health issues, substance abuse issues or a history of abuse or trauma. Participants will also have regular in-home visits and support to identify and work towards personal goals.
The program is based on research that people are more successful in moving forward with their lives and addressing the issues that may have led to their homelessness if they are first housed. Similar programs across Canada have proven to be cost-effective and have a positive return on investment. Research has also found people in similar programs are less likely to use costly emergency responses such as emergency housing, emergency health care and emergency medical services.
Chronic homelessness refers to people who typically spend lengthy periods of time in emergency housing, seasonal shelters or sleep in unsafe and unhealthy places such as a car or outside. Home Now will help people who have been homeless for six months within the past year. In 2016, there were 1,554 unique individuals using York Region emergency housing services. Of these, 239 were chronically homeless.
Home Now is a 100% provincially-funded program to be delivered by community agencies on behalf of the Region. It’s one of a number of programs the Region provides to help achieve the Provincial goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2025.
The Home Now program is anticipated to start serving people in early 2018. Admission to the program will be based on the highest level of need and the length of time a resident has been homeless.
For more information on what York Region is doing to ensure housing options for everyone, visit www.york.ca/housing.