Housing First Symposium from September 18 – 19, 2017

Housing First and Homelessness Prevention
Exploring the Housing First Program and Government Policies that Support It:
A Symposium

September 19, 2017
Richelieu Park, Ottawa, ON

Homelessness has challenged society for countless generations. In Canada, many agencies, governments, and citizens have committed their time and efforts to intervene in homelessness and create solutions to alleviate the suffering of homeless people. Housing First has come to the fore. It is a model which places people in homes without any preconditions. The philosophy of this model dictates that the mental health and addiction issues which destabilize many homeless people stabilize once a person has a stable home of their own. And, when supported properly, previously homeless people see their condition improve even that much more rapidly.

However, despite the overwhelming evidence and political support for Housing First, seeing it to fruition is slow. Our municipalities still rely heavily on emergency shelters to provide services to people that are chronically or episodically homeless, offering support programs through short-term residential programs. Cities often cite a lack affordable housing options in which to place people in Housing First apartments, despite the fact that they often pay more to emergency shelters on a monthly basis than they would to rent individual apartments. Another reason is that funding formulas and policies still favour outdated ways of attending to the needs of the homeless population and need fine-tuning to adapt to funding Housing First directly.Join us September 19th to talk about a better way forward for reducing poverty, preventing and ending chronic homelessness, and promoting Housing First.

September 19, 2017
The symposium will be held from 8:45am to 4:30pm. A light lunch will be served at 12pm.

Housing First Policies (9:15am to 10:30am)
Panelists: TBD,  Moderator: Mathieu Fleury

Homelessness Prevention (10:45am to 12pm)
Panelists: Dr. Erin Dej (York University), Dr. John Sylvestre (University of Ottawa),    Armine Yalnizyan,  Moderator: Kevin Page

Evidence for Housing First (1pm to 2:15pm)
Panelists: Dr. Tim Aubry (University of Ottawa), Dr. Eric Latimer (McGill University),     Dr. Geoff Nelson (Wilfrid Laurier University) , Moderator: Claudette Bradshaw

Housing First in Practice (2:30pm to 3:45pm)
Panelists: Dr. Tim Simboli (Ottawa CMHA), Jamie Rogers (Medicine Hat Community Housing Society), David Gibson (Sandy Hill Community Health Centre), Moderator: TBD

For full speaker bios and for more information, or to buy tickets please see www.housingfirstottawa.com.  You can also follow the symposium on Twitter: https://twitter.com/HFSymposiumYOW.