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Press Release-LAUNCHING REGINA'S PLAN TO END HOMELESSNESS: REACHING FUNCTIONAL ZERO


October 5, 2017

 

For Immediate Release

LAUNCHING REGINA'S PLAN TO END HOMELESSNESS:

REACHING FUNCTIONAL ZERO  

 

Media Contact: 

Blair Roberts,

Director of HPS Communications,

306-520-8221 or 

 

Call For Proposals to Build Regina's Plan To End Homelessness

The YMCA of Regina is excited to announce the kickoff to Regina's Plan To End Homelessness. The YMCA is launching a Call For Proposal to develop a Plan To End Homelessness that will guide our community’s efforts to reach a state of Functional Zero Homelessness in Regina.

The YMCA of Regina, in conjunction with the Regina Homelessness Community Advisory Board (RHCAB), through the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), and with the support of the City of Regina and multiple Community Stakeholders are seeking the services of a consultant to develop a Plan To End Homelessness for Regina based on extensive strategic planning sessions with the community and consultations with wide-ranging, key stakeholders. The model will guide community action and direction over the short and long-term. As part of this proposal and contract, the consultant will be expected to lay out a clear path for implementing a Plan To End Homelessness in Regina.

The creation of this Plan is funded in part by the Government of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy via the Regina Homelessness Community Advisory Board and the City of Regina. The YMCA of Regina will also fund a position to support the development and implementation of the Plan.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does Functional Zero mean?

Functional Zero homelessness means that there is a system of care in place to quickly re-house and support those that fall into homelessness. This includes a community held standard for length of stay in shelter and for what level of supports are in place to prevent people from falling back into homelessness.

The specifics vary from City to City. For instance, in Medicine Hat, the community works to re-house individuals that within 10 days of entering the shelter system. Red Deer sets a 28 day timeline for re-housing and support. Edmonton is working towards a community standard of no more than 21 days in shelter before individuals are offered housing with the supports they need to make it work.

Whoever is hired to develop Regina’s Plan To End Homelessness will be expected to do the following:

  • Through consultation develop a definition of ‘functional zero’ for Regina that, at a minimum, must include:
    • An ambitious and achievable community-held standard for maximum acceptable time limit spent in shelter.
    • An ambitious and achievable community-held standard for level of housing support, and acceptable rates of homelessness relapse, once individuals are housed.
    • Clear and concise costing.

Why do we need a plan anyway? Why don’t we just use this funding to help people get housed?

With limited resources available, it is extremely important that we invest HPS funding as strategically as possible. A plan like this is an important tool in helping our community do just that.

Through past planning efforts, RHCAB has seen huge returns on investment. For instance, after carefully developing a unique Housing First model for Regina, it is estimated that Regina’s Federally funded Housing First program saved our Provincial and Municipal Government a combined total of around 1.9 million dollars in potential cost savings over the initial year of the program’s operation.

How much will it cost to End Homelessness in Regina?

We don’t know for sure. That’s part of what this planning process will help us figure out. One thing we do know is that system wide planning and program’s like Housing First can  greatly improve life out comes for participants along with saving money for Government through decreased demand for downstream services like the Emergency Room, Detox, Ambulances, or the most expensive of all, Prison.  With good planning we pay now, with no planning we pay more later.

How will you ensure the plan is implemented once complete?

The Plan itself is just paper. The key to the success of this process is implementation. For this Plan to work, it needs to fully engage key stakeholders like the City of Regina, the Regina Police Service, Social Services, the Saskatchewan Health Authority, and the Department of Justice. Not to mention Regina’s private and non-profit sectors that interact directly with Regina’s Homeless Community on a daily basis.

This plan needs to belong to all of those partners. Our hope is that at the end of the process we can all mark that date on our Calendars when Regina plans to reach a state of Functional Zero homelessness. 

The Call For Proposals will be open until November 6, 2017, at which point the successful applicant will begin consulting with Regina Homelessness Community Advisory Board and other key stakeholders to build the Plan. The goal is for the Plan to be released by the end of Summer 2018.

 

Important Dates and Timelines

CFP deadline for applications: November 3rd, 2017

Review of proposals and RHCAB recommendations: November, 2017

Completion of negotiation of contracts: December,  2017

Strategic Planning Sessions with Regina HPS and RHCAB: January, 2018

Research, Community Consultation, Data Analysis, Release of Initial Findings, Continued Research, Community Consultation, Data Analysis: January – June 2018

Release of Final Report: Summer 2018

 

Homelessness Partnering Strategy

The Homelessness Partnering Strategy is a community-based program designed to address homelessness across Canada, relying on communities to determine their own needs and to develop projects accordingly. Nationally, the HPS aims to prevent and reduce homelessness across Canada through the mobilization of partnerships at federal, provincial/territorial, and community levels. These partnerships contribute to sustainable and comprehensive development of services and facilities to help those who are chronically or episodically homeless, or at risk of homelessness, or are part of the hidden homeless population, move towards well-being and self-sufficiency.

Over the past several years the Homelessness Partnering Strategy has been working towards ending homelessness in Regina:

  • In 2014 we developed the Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s 5 year Community Plan. 
  • In 2015 we conducted Regina's first ever Point In Time (PIT) Count of Homelessness which Identified 232 individuals who were either sleeping on our streets or in our shelter system on the night of the count.  
  • Later in 2015 we used information from our PIT Count and extensive community consultation to develop a unique Housing First model for Regina.  
  • In 2016 we launched Regina’s premier Housing First program in conjunction with Phoenix Residential Society, and have since been able to expand the program to include the efforts of Circle Project and Carmichael Outreach. 
  • In July of 2017 we publically shared the impressive participant outcomes and potential savings the Housing First program has to offer.

 

If you have further questions comments, or if you are seeking a copy of the Call For Proposals, please contact Blair Roberts, Director of HPS Communications, at 306-520-8221 or 

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