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Susan McGee
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Susan McGee
2020-08-17 15:34
For our effort, I think it would have a very negative impact. I would say that Reaching Home needs to be understood, and our local efforts generally, because we certainly administer investments in homelessness by other orders of government. The important underlying focus is that it is a coordinated approach and a community commitment to work in a coordinated way and in alignment with any homelessness.... Harm reduction is definitely a principle of the Housing First program. The Housing First program, which is also strongly reinforced by Reaching Home, is client-centred and client-focused, focused on the potential of individuals. Agencies are really empowered, as well as front-line staff.
I think one of the things that don't necessarily get generalized or understood around Housing First is that it really empowers the decision-making at the front line to support individuals in ending their homelessness in a way that has the most sustainable outcome in the long term, and that happening in a coordinated way has been critical to communities being able to really move the bar—not just for a person, not just for a program, but as a community.
In the absence of that, we run the risk of just cycling people through other programs, and having a very programmatic structure ensures that people just don't get the traction that we're working so hard to provide them.
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