Please describe the goal of your initiative; outline what you are trying to achieve
The goal of our stabilization program is to prevent and reduce homelessness, improve the outcomes for mental health and addiction services, further community support, and serve as the bridge of services, so clients will see a greater success rate.
We provide homeless residents with the ability to stabilize their circumstances and move beyond emergency needs. Mental health, homelessness and addiction are comorbid concerns plaguing the residents of the DTES which we primarily serve. We work to stabilize clients in all areas, to allow them to be successful and move beyond emergency needs, to a stable, supportive environment.
What has been the impact of your solution to date?
Harbour Light’s stabilization program fills a vital gap in the continuum of care for at risk clients who face multiple barriers. It provides a stable transitional support service for clients who would otherwise be homeless. These clients are unable to live independently and stay clean without support and supervision. Through stabilization they are able to access other services as they transition towards independent living.
Addiction Treatment waiting lists are on average 2-8 weeks. Clients would complete detox, and have nowhere to go that provided a safe, supportive, clean, recovery focussed environment, while they were waiting.
Stabilization has evolved and expanded since then to offer a solid continuum of care, providing a myriad of services that help address the multiple complex issues of our client base.
What is your projected impact over the next five years?
There is a desperate need in the community to have access to our Stabilization program and to support clients in their transition to long term stable housing and recovery from addiction, as they break the cycle of homelessness and addiction. In the last five years on average we have served over 300 clients per year. We have been able to successfully send hundreds of men on to treatment and assisted them with their medical, mental health and physical needs, provided clothing and eyewear vouchers, new ID, access to healthy nutritional food and information and introduced them to a more healthy and active lifestyle. We would like to continue to offer this service. We anticipate being able to serve hundreds more if this program continues.
What barriers might hinder the success of your project? How do you plan to overcome them?
Our primary barrier to providing this service is funding. For the first six years our program was funded by Service Canada. Due to budget adjustments we were not able to access funding for the 2012 year. We plan to continue to develop donation partnerships and continue to apply for available funding from a variety of sources. With funding support we will be able to keep this program alive and subsequently increase the amount of clients whose lives we will help to change.
Winning entries present a strong plan for how they will achieve and track growth. Identify your six-month milestone for growing your impact
Increase the visibility and awareness of the Stabilization Program by expanding community partners
Now think bigger! Identify your 12-month impact milestone
Work to increase the amount of Stabilization beds available, to make the service available to more clients