The push to end homelessness.

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foenix
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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So I posted an article on Findland's success in employing Maslow's theory in providing the homless with shelter to combat homlessness but that article was in 2018. I wanted to follow up and see how they are doing now and looks like quite well. They are the only country in Europe to reduce homelessness since the program started so fluffy I think you are on to something.

Report 2021: Homelessness in Finland 2020

https://www.ara.fi/en-US/Materials/Home ... 020(60242)

Housing is a human right: How Finland is eradicating homelessness
There are more than a million empty homes in Canada and on any given night at least 35,000 Canadians are homeless. They pack into overflowing, often dangerous, shelters or they hunker down outside, hoping the elements will be kinder to them than the conditions indoor.

Juha Kaakinen is the architect of Finland's national Housing First program. (Kirsi Tuura)

In the 1980s, a Canadian psychologist working in New York had an idea: maybe the best way to solve the problem of homelessness was to give people homes. Sam Tsemberis was one of the earliest proponents of a model known as Housing First. The idea was viewed as outlandish and unworkable. 

Skeptics argued that complex issues like addiction and mental health had to be addressed first before someone was a suitable candidate for long-term housing. How would the cost be justified to hardworking taxpayers?

But the idea has caught on. 

Housing First projects have appeared in municipalities across Asia, Europe and North America, including Medicine Hat, Alta.

Now, Finland has become the first country to adopt a national housing first approach to homelessness.
https://www.cbc.ca/radio/sunday/the-sun ... -1.5437402
Last edited by foenix on Aug 2nd, 2021, 9:12 am, edited 1 time in total.
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fluffy
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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rustled wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 8:59 amSo, nothing to say about why "getting them housed" has worked as well as has in Utah? Seems to me you're pretty intent on pitching "housing first" while ignoring the elephants in the room...
Housing first, elephants next.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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fluffy wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 9:14 am
rustled wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 8:59 amSo, nothing to say about why "getting them housed" has worked as well as has in Utah? Seems to me you're pretty intent on pitching "housing first" while ignoring the elephants in the room...
Housing first, elephants next.
The planning-stage elephants I was pointing to have significant consequences.

What you're supporting here is the Eby approach: get 'em all into housing first, never mind adequate supports to make sure the housing isn't negatively impacting the community - the homeless being housed are not expected to have any consideration whatsoever for the community, and human nature means there will be a significant number who run amok.

Then, when the community does complain about the inevitable and completely predictable negative impacts - as they have every reasonable right to do - the "solution" is to shame the community for not having enough empathy for the homeless.

When people are stuck living in very close proximity to a publicly funded problem neighbour who has no regard for the harm they do to the people around them, it's rational to expect complaints - and irrational to insist that in any truly empathetic society, the needs of the problem neighbour should be allowed to supersede the needs of everyone else around them.

The complaints become increasingly public, and when the response is what we've seen from Eby - basically "we're doing housing first, so tough, you're stuck with it!" - this torpedoes public support for the entire "housing first" program.

These programs will fail whenever we refuse to address those particular elephants. Blaming and shaming the community for the failure of a flawed housing-first model is silly. Fix those problems in the planning stages, instead of foisting a flawed model on the community, and it'll have a far better chance of the success they've seen in Utah.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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fluffy wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 8:39 am The "further study" thing again ? It has been shown time and again that getting the homeless housed first reduces the overall cost of support. I don't dispute that it is a complex problem with many causes, but it has already been established that getting them housed is job one, and that accomplishing that both simplifies and reduces the cost of the steps to follow.
Yep it's pretty straight forward. Providing housing ends homelessness. And then we're better equipped to help with the underlying issues. And it's cheaper for taxpayers and less troubles for businesses to deal with. Win-win-win.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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JLives wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 9:48 am
fluffy wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 8:39 am The "further study" thing again ? It has been shown time and again that getting the homeless housed first reduces the overall cost of support. I don't dispute that it is a complex problem with many causes, but it has already been established that getting them housed is job one, and that accomplishing that both simplifies and reduces the cost of the steps to follow.
Yep it's pretty straight forward. Providing housing ends homelessness. And then we're better equipped to help with the underlying issues. And it's cheaper for taxpayers and less troubles for businesses to deal with. Win-win-win.
We certainly should be looking at the Findland model.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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Just as it's pretty straightforward why these programs will fail whenever we refuse to address those particular elephants. Intentionally pushing a flawed housing-first model is silly. Fix the problems that create negative outcomes for the community in the planning stages, instead of continually foisting a flawed model on the community.

Models that show they're intent on successful integration with the community will always have a far better chance of being supported by that community.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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rustled wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 9:53 am Just as it's pretty straightforward why these programs will fail whenever we refuse to address those particular elephants. Intentionally pushing a flawed housing-first model is silly. Fix the problems that create negative outcomes for the community in the planning stages, instead of continually foisting a flawed model on the community.

Models that show they're intent on successful integration with the community will always have a far better chance of being supported by that community.
Obviously that's not true looking at Finland's successful "housing first" program.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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Here's more links....the better articles were posted a page back.......

Finland offers lessons on homelessness

https://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/c ... 1.24202309
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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Offering free communal homes or apartments is an idea. It would allow homeless to re-integrate and socialize. Despite the success, there are still about 5000 homeless in Finland on a given day in a very rich country of 5.5 million people. In Canada there are 35,000 homeless on a given day with a population of 37.6 million or 0.093%. This is roughly equivalent to Finland at 0.09%. Back in the 1980's, Finland had 17,000 homeless and a population of 4.9 million which was 0.37%... a much larger proportion. So Finland has had good success relative to themselves. It is also something they are trying in Medicine Hat, is it not? Certainly with housing you require long term support and other costs and hopefully the need for police intervention and other costs are lower. It doesn't necessarily reduce crime which is still rising in medicine hat. Hopefully it is sustainable for them.

I had a fellow near my home last weekend slouched over, sitting on the side of an alley. 9am to 1pm he remained sitting and slouched. I didn't see him move at all. I took some cold Gatorade and plums out for him. Asked him if he'd like an ambulance which got a vigorous 'no thanks'! Some people want to remain homeless and want to avoid hospital discharge planning I suppose.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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Jlabute wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 5:59 pm Offering free communal homes or apartments is an idea. It would allow homeless to re-integrate and socialize. Despite the success, there are still about 5000 homeless in Finland on a given day in a very rich country of 5.5 million people. In Canada there are 35,000 homeless on a given day with a population of 37.6 million or 0.093%. This is roughly equivalent to Finland at 0.09%. Back in the 1980's, Finland had 17,000 homeless and a population of 4.9 million which was 0.37%... a much larger proportion. So Finland has had good success relative to themselves. It is also something they are trying in Medicine Hat, is it not? Certainly with housing you require long term support and other costs and hopefully the need for police intervention and other costs are lower. It doesn't necessarily reduce crime which is still rising in medicine hat. Hopefully it is sustainable for them.
Interesting statistics. Forethought and the appropriate supports seem to have been key to Finland's success:
Decisive moments of commitment and shared will for the Finnish programme include the long-term plan by Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen’s Government that has lasted past the government term, and ensuring its annual investment and operating funding. Based on this, it was possible to draw up effective letters of intent with the cities that were key with regard to homelessness, in which the construction projects, plots, investments and their funding and the necessary support personnel could be specified in detail. This was the first time that the state also participated in funding support personnel related to national projects among homeless persons.

Committed cooperation and the decrease in the numbers of the homeless created an atmosphere of positive change in many cities, which is a phenomenon that reinforces itself. People started to discuss homelessness in a new way, as a challenge and an issue that can be influenced, as well as actions that are not only humanely right, but also financially cost-effective for the city.

With the review of the programme as a whole, an international, impartial perspective on evaluating of the programme’s success was sought, such as making the change in the realised service structure visible. On the other hand, there was a desire to use the review to highlight new, cost-effective forms of work and cooperation models, which can be used in planning work on homelessness in the future. https://helda.helsinki.fi/bitstream/han ... sequence=5
There are quite a few "housing first" models, and the successful ones seem to get underway with enough personnel and enough mitigation strategies to ensure community buy-in.

One of the reasons Utah was successful is that the community, the authorities and the people running the program ALL expected the people they housed would NOT negatively impact their neighbours. I don't know if Finland has the same issues with negative behaviours and repeat offenders we have here in Canada.

Here in Penticton, we are seeing the consequences of a "just housing first" strategy - one that gets homeless people into shelters or other housing, and then considers what to do when some of the people being housed persist in negatively impacting their neighbours. Promised supports don't materialize, the neighbourhoods are upset at their loss of peaceful enjoyment, and when they're told nothing can be done they feel justifiably angry about the housing strategy.

It's clearly a flawed model.

A truly compassionate society seeks to make improvements for all - not by providing shelter for some while disregarding negative impacts to the ordinary peaceful enjoyment of the rest of the community. If we are serious about reducing the impacts of homelessness in our communities, it's important to create sensible and sustainable strategies that invite and promote community buy-in.
Jlabute wrote:I had a fellow near my home last weekend slouched over, sitting on the side of an alley. 9am to 1pm he remained sitting and slouched. I didn't see him move at all. I took some cold Gatorade and plums out for him. Asked him if he'd like an ambulance which got a vigorous 'no thanks'! Some people want to remain homeless and want to avoid hospital discharge planning I suppose.
True that.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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Jlabute wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 5:59 pm Offering free communal homes or apartments is an idea. It would allow homeless to re-integrate and socialize. Despite the success, there are still about 5000 homeless in Finland on a given day in a very rich country of 5.5 million people. In Canada there are 35,000 homeless on a given day with a population of 37.6 million or 0.093%. This is roughly equivalent to Finland at 0.09%. Back in the 1980's, Finland had 17,000 homeless and a population of 4.9 million which was 0.37%... a much larger proportion. So Finland has had good success relative to themselves. It is also something they are trying in Medicine Hat, is it not? Certainly with housing you require long term support and other costs and hopefully the need for police intervention and other costs are lower. It doesn't necessarily reduce crime which is still rising in medicine hat. Hopefully it is sustainable for them.

I had a fellow near my home last weekend slouched over, sitting on the side of an alley. 9am to 1pm he remained sitting and slouched. I didn't see him move at all. I took some cold Gatorade and plums out for him. Asked him if he'd like an ambulance which got a vigorous 'no thanks'! Some people want to remain homeless and want to avoid hospital discharge planning I suppose.
Excellent analytical post Jiabute! I didnt go the extra step to number crunch like that so it surprised me that per capita homelessness between Canada and Finland is about the same. The good thing about the Finnish model is that the homelessness continues to go down because they have an effective support system along with their home first policy. I haven't looked up our trend in homelessness but intuitively, I feel like it would be going up every year just based on population growth and a lack of a national plan unlike Finland. One thing I noticed about their system is the buy in from most parts of their society. Not everyone are on board but enough that they have an effective program. I guess it does take an entire village to be successful at something like that.

Which brings us to Penticton because after 1 winter of housing first, the village has already given up and ready to punt the program to the curb. I guess they would rather spend 300K of Penticton's taxpayer money and toss out 42 people onto the
streets than try and solve their homelessness problem. I guess it's just another case of NIMBY in Penticton.

At least in Canada, we do have a city of 60,000+ village that did go the extra mile to eradicate their homelessness. In fact I believe Medicine Hat is the only city of their size to eliminate homelessness in Canada.......so job WELL DONE Medicine Hat! I think even without looking across the sea and to another continent, we should be looking at Medicine Hat's homelessness program to emulate for other cities in Canada...........that is if they are willing to spend the money and time to make it work, if not it'll just be a waste of time and effort for everyone involved.

NO SILVER BULLET': Medicine Hat mayor explains how city solved homelessness
Medicine Hat, a city of 63,260 people in southeast Alberta has nearly eradicated homelessness.

Mayor Ted Clugston credits the city’s success to its Housing First program, which seeks to immediately place unsheltered people in long term housing before attempting to resolve mental health and addiction problems – and the city is saving millions as a result.

“I have no silver bullet,” said Clugston, speaking from his office in Medicine Hat. “I don’t know Winnipeg, and I don’t know Montreal. But why be homeless in Winnipeg? The winters are unbearable.”

Clugston said that Medicine Hat, under the leadership of the Alberta Government, has turned the idea of homelessness on its head. Gone are the days when people had to kick their drug habit and get a job before qualifying for housing assistance.

“Here it’s no questions asked,” he said. “You can’t get off drugs when you’re sick and living in a tent or a park. We get people a place to live, and then offer them the wrap-around services. Homelessness is a symptom of something else – the drugs almost always go with mental health.”

Clugston said the problem of homelessness and mental illness can be compared to cancer.

“When someone gets cancer, your friends make you lasagna,” he said. “They show up at the house. They look after your children. But if you have mental health problems and become homeless, even your family shuns you.”

The Housing First program enables people to get the most important thing – an address, explained Clugston. He said people at risk are required by government to have an address in order to maximize available social services.
https://winnipegsun.com/news/news-news/ ... melessness

That was last year........this year.....

Medicine Hat becomes first Canadian community to eradicate chronic homelessness
Putting an end to homelessness is a feat that many communities consider to be very difficult.

However, the City of Medicine Hat, along with the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society (MHCHC), now say they've done just that.

"Becoming the first Canadian city to reach this achievement is a testament to the dedication and the intentional community based system approach to ending homelessness," said Jaime Rogers, the MHCHC’s manager of homeless and housing development in an online webinar on Wednesday morning.

"More so, it is a recognition to the system of care that is able to bring all people home."

They've achieved what is called functional zero chronic homelessness which means they have been able to prove that there were no more than three individuals experiencing chronic homelessness in the community for three months.

Chronic homelessness is defined as someone who has experienced 180 days of homelessness over the past year or have experienced recurrent homelessness over the past three years.

This is a huge accomplishment for the southeastern Alberta city which has a population of around 65,000 people.
https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/medicine-hat ... -1.5454057
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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rustled wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 9:41 amThen, when the community does complain about the inevitable and completely predictable negative impacts - as they have every reasonable right to do - the "solution" is to shame the community for not having enough empathy for the homeless.

When people are stuck living in very close proximity to a publicly funded problem neighbour who has no regard for the harm they do to the people around them, it's rational to expect complaints - and irrational to insist that in any truly empathetic society, the needs of the problem neighbour should be allowed to supersede the needs of everyone else around them.
You're talking here about giving a lot more say in the matter to the NIMBY crowd, people who find it very easy to look down their noses at mental health and addiction problems. I question the wisdom of that. There's a feeling that everyone who ends up in these housing programs is a "problem" customer which just isn't correct.
Housing First was a revolutionary idea when it was introduced in the 1990s because it didn’t require homeless people to fix their problems before getting permanent housing. Instead, its premise — since confirmed by years of research — was that people are better able to address their individual problems when basic needs, such as food and a place to live, are met.

“It was a change in direction from how the initial response to homelessness was thought about and structured,” said Matthew Doherty, the nation’s former homelessness czar. “It puts a lot of responsibility on communities and on organizations to really understand what their clients need and want, and to really center people in the processes for deciding how to help.”
https://cronkitenews.azpbs.org/howardce ... first.html
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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fluffy wrote: Aug 3rd, 2021, 4:53 am
rustled wrote: Aug 2nd, 2021, 9:41 amThen, when the community does complain about the inevitable and completely predictable negative impacts - as they have every reasonable right to do - the "solution" is to shame the community for not having enough empathy for the homeless.

When people are stuck living in very close proximity to a publicly funded problem neighbour who has no regard for the harm they do to the people around them, it's rational to expect complaints - and irrational to insist that in any truly empathetic society, the needs of the problem neighbour should be allowed to supersede the needs of everyone else around them.
You're talking here about giving a lot more say in the matter to the NIMBY crowd, people who find it very easy to look down their noses at mental health and addiction problems. I question the wisdom of that. There's a feeling that everyone who ends up in these housing programs is a "problem" customer which just isn't correct.
No, fluffy, that's not what I'm saying at all. I'm not saying everyone is a "problem" - obviously. I have family in shelter programs.

I highlighted the line in that long piece you asked me to read that described the Utah program. You want me to agree their housing-first strategy was successful, while you continue to ignore one of the primary differences between their successful program and our failing one: they had the very simple expectation that the people they provided with housing would NOT torment their neighbours.

Whether you continue to set people up in shelters or apartment buildings or integrate them into existing apartment units scattered around town, without any expectations they won't torment their neighbours - and no plan for what they'll do and no means through which to deal with it if they are tormenting their neighbours - you're not doing what the Utah program did to make it successful.

If you're going to be Eby and say "too bad, they need housing and no matter what they do you just have to put up with it", you are clearly setting the program up for failure. If you choose as Eby did to shame people for having compassion for the tormented neighbours inside and outside whatever facility you're using for your housing strategy, you are clearly setting the program up for failure.

Unless you're prepared, the few who will torment their neighbours will turn the community against the entire program.

It's not NIMBY for members of the community to expect peaceful enjoyment of the homes they live in, and to dismiss it as such is ignorant.
fluffy wrote:
Housing First was a revolutionary idea when it was introduced in the 1990s because it didn’t require homeless people to fix their problems before getting permanent housing.
I understand what Housing First is, and I am not talking about requiring homeless people to "fix their problems" before getting permanent housing - Utah didn't do that. I'm talking about expecting them not to torment their neighbours - Utah DID expect that.

Expecting them not to torment their neighbours worked in Utah, as you yourself clearly showed.

When people in a Housing First program are not required to show even the most basic respect for their neighbours - as we see here in Penticton - the neighbours will push back against the Housing First program and the rest of the community will not support it. The flaw in the program is not the fault of the community - don't shift blame and call it NIMBYism.

You want a program the community will support - none of the successful Housing First programs work without community support - so fix the flaw in the program.

The bottom line is that these programs cannot succeed without community support. You won't get that if the public knows there is no mechanism through which to deal with anyone in the program who is tormenting their neighbours.
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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Wierd, I wonder why they didnt complain about these guys in Penticon
100 More Homes Penticton is a collection of community leaders who came together in 2016, initially to provide housing and supports to 100 vulnerable people in Penticton by July 2018. In 18 months of collaborative work, 133 people were housed.

https://unitedwaysibc.com/how-we-help/p ... 100-homes/
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Re: The push to end homelessness.

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Enlightening article. It seems the big push is coming from the mayor of Penticton who happens to own several businesses that are close to the homeless shelter he's trying to close down. I wonder if that falls under conflict of interest?

The city’s council is trying to shut down a 42-bed homeless shelter operating out of a downtown church. The mayor, in particular, doesn’t have much empathy for those in need of the facility.

“The more we house that population,” John Vassilaki told the Toronto Star recently, “the more they will come.” Mr. Vassilaki also told a council meeting that the unfortunate souls bunking at the church should “get rid of their addictions and mental-health issues and make them somewhat normal.”

Enlightened is not an adjective that leaps to mind here..........


When the minister looks at the situation in Penticton, he sees a council that wants to kick homeless people out of a shelter on to the street. But he knows that when tent cities become firmly entrenched, they are extremely difficult to take down.

It would appear the folks managing the city of Penticton haven’t looked that far down the road. They seem to be responding to the concerns of local business owners who don’t like the sight of the disenfranchised in our society wandering their downtown streets.

Not surprisingly, the story has dominated the local news in the Okanagan city. The online news website PressProgress, recently published an article that detailed the mayor’s downtown real estate holdings, some of which are close to the homeless shelter. They include a wine bar and a small mall. The mayor told the news organization that his efforts to close down the homeless shelter had nothing to do with his business interests. And, he added, the fact that he’s been “successful” in life shouldn’t preclude him from taking a position on a public safety issue, as he sees it.
https://www.theglobeandmail.com/canada/ ... appalling/

Certainly, the most vocal of the opponent, the mayor is in the NIMBY camp as he has a special interest in shutting down the present homeless housing.

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