Homeward Trust Edmonton released the following announcement this morning of their participation as a vanguard city in the Institute of Global Homelessness’s A Place to Call Home campaign:
Edmonton – Homelessness is a global challenge, with an estimated 100 million people worldwide living without shelter. The Institute of Global Homelessness at DePaul University is launching a campaign to help 150 cities work toward ending street homelessness by 2030.
The campaign, A Place to Call Home, will begin with 10 vanguard cities across six continents. Each city will commit to achieving significant progress towards that goal by the end of 2020. Edmonton is one of those vanguard communities and together, the community has committed that by 2020, no one staying in shelter or sleeping rough will experience chronic homelessness.
“Edmonton is a leader and innovator on many fronts, and has brought this to bear in our efforts to end homelessness” said Mayor Don Iveson. “While the number of people experiencing homelessness in our city has decreased by 43% since 2008, there is still much work to do. Being selected as a vanguard city by the Institute of Global Homelessness is both an honor and an opportunity. We will be contributing to an international effort, and in our commitment to evidence based approaches, we will build local capacity to ensure we meet our goal.”
“Homelessness looks different everywhere, and agreeing on definitions of homelessness had slowed down these types of collaborations in the past,” explained Kat Johnson, Director of the Institute of Global Homelessness. In 2015, the Institute of Global Homelessness released a framework that defines different types of homelessness so that international collaborators can work from the same definition. In recent years, IGH has drawn together policy makers and front-line staff from every continent to kick this work off.
“There is an emerging global movement to end homelessness, and A Place to Call Home helps cities and countries to work collaboratively to tackle the problem world-wide,” said Kat Johnson. “Edmonton is leading by example and will help other cities around the world to take action to end street homelessness.”
Edmonton’s efforts to end homelessness have realized significant results – more than 6,600 people who were without a home have been housed and supported through the Housing First program. Eighty-five percent of Housing First participants remain housed a year after entering the program. Recently updated, Edmonton’s Updated Plan to Prevent and End Homelessness shows that this ambitious goal is still within reach. Through the Housing First Program, Permanent Supportive Housing, and diversion and prevention efforts, Edmonton is well on its way to achieving this goal.
“We are committed to preventing and ending homelessness in our community and working collectively to do so,” added Susan McGee, CEO of Homeward Trust Edmonton. “Being a vanguard city in this global movement will allow us to share best practices with other cities, and to learn how they are ending street homelessness in their own communities.”