Housing First is an international initiative that has successfully helped the homeless.
The traditional model for years has been to provide treatment first and then to find housing for the individual. The current model is to provide safe housing first and then provide the professional help that will assist them to address problems they have with mental health or addiction issues.
Housing First has been supported by funds from the Federal government, provincial government and our city government.
Individuals in our city have donated thousands of dollars to help build the small houses for single occupants.
Why is our Cathedral involved? The churches in our community have been asked to be the owners of these homes and to provide the neighbourly support that reflects our mission to love thy neighbour as yourself.
Our congregation began its involvement with this project in October 2018. To date we have:
- Bishop and Chapter approval of our participation
- City Council approval of our application and its approval of the building site for 3 small houses on Albert Street.
We are expecting to finalize the contracts and leal obligations in the coming months and for the land to transferred to us by March. It is hoped that the houses will be ready for occupancy by August.
We will need volunteers to assist us with our role as neighbours. There is a sign-up sheet at the back for you to sign if you wish to assist in some fashion. I will be organizing an "introductory meeting" so that Faith Macfarlane and Jason Lejeune can help us understand the support we will receive to assist our new neighbours to develop a healthier, happy life.
Penny Ericson/Sam Mayo
26 January 2020