People with issues of homelessness include people who are experiencing absolute homelessness (living on the streets), people who are at risk of becoming homeless (foreclosure on their home, facing eviction) and/or are inadequately housed (inappropriate living situations - hospitals, nursing care, crisis shelters).
All of us at Centerpoint Facilitation (Alberta, Canada) using Person Centred Thinking tools to record and portray our work.
Introduction to Project:
The person centered planning project was made possible through a contribution grant by the Province of Alberta, recommended by gpCHASE (Grande Prairie Community Housing and Supports for Everybody) and supported by the City of Grande Prairie through the "Provincial Outreach Initiative Pilot Project".
On November 8, 2006, the Province of Alberta committed $16 million over two years to fund homeless support service projects.
The funding was made available in response to a proposal and presentation made in August 2006 to the Standing Policy Committee on Health and Community Living, by the 7 Cities community-based organizations (CBO's) who are responsible for managing funding for homelessness in Alberta.
This funding was to support innovative and new programs that seek to address the root causes of homelessness, provide prevention and support services through outreach teams and achieve measurable outcomes in the reduction of homelessness.
We are using person centered thinking and planning approaches with people who are homeless, at risk of homelessness and/or inadequately housed.
We use the term Homeless when an individual has no place at all to live i.e. living on the street, in and out of shelters, in tents.
At risk of homelessness when a person has a place to live but is at risk of losing their housing i.e. foreclosures, rent increases beyond their means, eviction notice, not able to meet rent due to loss of work, due to sickness.
Inadequately housed when a person has a place to live but it is not adequately meeting their needs, i.e. dwellings that are inadequate in condition (e.g. condemned housing), not suitable in size (e.g. family with 2 children in a one bedroom apartment), or an appropriate environment (e.g. young person with disabilities residing in seniors care facility).
We provide a service to those people who have a life altering experience, which has put their housing in jeopardy, who otherwise would have limited or no supports.
The Final Report.
The course of this project has truly been one of innovation and flexibility. Over the previous 21 months, the team of Centerpoint Facilitation has developed a strong understanding of the people of Grande Prairie that require assistance due to homelessness or the threat of homelessness.
Marilyn is 19 years old and is expecting a baby in three months. Marilyn and her boyfriend are living in a basement room of a friend's house paying $900.00/month. The living situation is neither affordable nor safe. Both she and her boyfriend are addicts and do not wish to use again however the friends they live with are involved in heavy drug use. The support plan graphic worked well for Marilyn as it provided a great visual for her to have a conversation about different components of her life and to 'see' a clear direction of where she wanted her life to go.
Annie is a 50-year-old woman is living on her own for the first time in her life. Annie has bipolar disorder and a learning disability that create challenges with reading and comprehending certain things. For the first time in her life, she has access to her bankcard. In the past, her financial administrator had total control over her finances. She came from a rural area where she lived on a farm with her girlfriend for the last 16 years. Annie has suffered from an alcohol addiction and mental abuse at the hands of her girlfriend.
Tara is 18 years old and she is a new Mom. Tara has bipolar disorder and cannot take medication as she is breast feeding her baby. Her behaviour has necessitated a move from her mother's home as it is impacting her younger siblings. Tara is looking into a supportive living home until she can resume her meds and then perhaps move into market housing.