TAEH recommendations for a succesful National Housing Strategy submitted!

It is exciting to share with all of you our final submission to the federal government's #letstalkhousing consultations on the country's upcoming National Housing Strategy.

Our recommendations were developed over months of consultations and discussions with TAEH members and other supporters in Toronto and across the Country.  We are aligned with almost all submissions I've seen, strongly calling for this new strategy to end homelessness in Canada.

Please share the TAEH submission far and wide, and if you haven't given your own personal input yet you still can until the end of today - go to letstalkhousing.ca

Miss Toronto's Housing Summit?

If you weren't able to make it to the Summit last Friday, go to the Twitter list #TOHousingSummit to see all the posts - like a play by play.  If you want a shorter version, try our Twitter feed - @TAEHomelessness - and you can see all the tweets I posted during the day, including retweets by other people.

There were many commitments made by our Mayor, John Tory, and mayors from across Canada to advocate strongly for what is needed in the upcoming National Housing Strategy, including ending homelessness.  I'll collect some resources and relevant documents from the day and post as soon as I have a moment, but for now, see the CBC report or the Toronto Star's - both released late on Friday after the summit concluded.

You'll read - if you haven't already of course - that the federal and provincial governments did not make any firm or detailed commitments during the summit.  As the federal government is planning to announce their response to all the feedback received on their developing National Housing Strategy in November it shouldn't be a surprise that they wouldn't give away details now - but it would have been more encouraging if they did!  The federal Minister responsible - Jean Yves Duclos - did attend and told the audience that he knew there were longer term needs that needed to be fulfilled.  Let's use this as one of our hooks in sending the Minister and his government our recommendations for what is essential - see the TAEH key messages for the National Housing Strategy for more. 

Remember too that you can still send input into what the City should put in their final recommendations to the National Housing Strategy by going to their website - there is some updated information post-summit there too.

By the way I can't thank those of you that participated in Twitterland during the summit with us enough - we got so many new followers that day I've lost count!

Of course, if you don't follow us yet - please do.  You can also try my personal feed at @KiraHeineck

Thanks everyone - k

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Street Health’s accessible coach house creates barrier free, client centred care for homeless and under housed people.

Last week - on Wednesday September 28th, Street Health welcomed clients, community partners, funders and supporters to an Open House and ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open its newly accessible Coach House. This renovation enables an enhanced level of care to clients with private, well-equipped space to meet one-on-one with a nurse or community mental health worker.  

Go to Snap'd Cabbagetown to see photos of the event.  And congratulations to Kapri Rabin, E.D. at Street Health and her team!  Kapri had this to say at the opening: 

“Toronto’s homeless and under housed individuals face many health inequities.  The barriers of homelessness include income disparity, food insecurity, and multiple health challenges. At Street Heath we are working diligently to remove these barriers. By creating an accessible physical space for clients is essential to improving access to nursing and community mental health case management supports for our clients.”

This renovation was supported in part by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) so thanks to them too. 

“Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Echo Foundation, Toronto Central Local Health Integration Network and the James Rutley Grand Memorial Fund this accessible facility ensures Street Health will continue to work toward our vision of a healthy community where all members have equitable access to housing, income, quality health care and services necessary to achieve optimal health and well-being,” said Samara Starkman, Board Chair on the opening. 

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5 recommendations to address youth homelessness - new framework from Ottawa

Late last week the Homeless Hub released a report on work done with Home Away in Ottawa on youth homelessness.  A Way Home Ottawa have spent the last year listening to youth with lived experience and staff working on the front lines about what is needed to prevent and end youth homelessness.  The result is a framework that outlines 5 major recommendations for the city in responding to youth homelessness.   Check it out on their website at homelesshub.ca, and while you are there you can also subscribe to their newsletter - if you aren't already of course!  It is a great resource.

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TAEH has a blog!

Good morning, and welcome to the first blog item of the TAEH! 

It is an exciting morning to be writing as many of us are getting ready to go to the City of Toronto's Housing Summit.  The mayors of many of Canada's biggest cities have come together with one voice to call for significant federal funding in their new National Housing Strategy.  This is a great sign that the opportunity we have right now, with many decision-makers united in the call for housing - especially in Ontario where we have our province committed to ending homelessness by 2025 as well.  Expectations are high!

TAEH during today's summit and in days to come will continue to advocate that the people our members serve - the most vulnerable and marginalized - and their needs are central to the City's plans and in the national strategy.  For example, we need a focus on supportive housing, and on tools and supports to transitioning from the shelter system.  As we've written in our key messages piece, if the national strategy doesn't work for the most vulnerable, it won't work for any of us.

For those that can't make the summit today, but are interested, I'm sure there will be a lot of tweeting and other information shared on social media during the day.  Follow the TAEH at @TAEHomelessness or me personally at @KiraHeineck to see how best to take part.  I'll share the hashtag - # - they are using so you can follow in real time once I know it.

The city also has an email address just for public input into their plans for housing.  I'll share the questions asked at the workshops so that you can email in your thoughts even if not there today.

Hope you enjoy our website updates and this new blog - we'll have many guest writers, and I'll turn the comments section on next week once I get the hang of this a bit more!  My best to all, Kira

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