Update on Phase 1 at the 3-City Meetings

November 07, 2019

What a great experience at the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness 2019 Conference in Edmonton, AB! It was fantastic to have representation from community, academic, and lived experience partners from all three cities.

The team arrived on Sunday, November 3, and shared dinner that evening while reviewing the progress of Phase 1 of this exciting project. Team members from Montreal, Calgary, and Vancouver had the opportunity to meet and learn about promising practices from other sites. In addition, the group began to brainstorm priorities for Phase 2, and what the topic and range of future research might look like.

On Monday, representatives from some Vancouver community partners presented on innovative models of delivering health care and housing to older persons experiencing homelessness. In this panel presentation, Dr. Harvey Bosma from Providence Health Care explored the findings of recent research conducted on hospital discharge for persons experiencing homelessness and reviewed solutions for meeting the health and psychosocial needs of this population. Carolina Ibarra from Brightside Community Homes Foundation presented the results of a tenant satisfaction survey, which gave insight into the needs and preferences of older adults living in subsidized independent living. Community building and tenant support programs were highlighted as promising practices that support aging-in-place for low-income older adults. Next, Joe Humphries, representing Seniors Services Society, discussed the Temporary Housing Program, which offers fully furnished subsidized apartments for older adults experiencing or at immediate risk of homelessness. This program also provides ongoing outreach and client support, taking a person-centered approach to rehousing. Finally, Scott Small from Catholic Charities presented on medical respite -- an innovative model for addressing the complex health and housing needs of older persons experiencing homelessness that provides wrap-around care and supports in a safe sheltered settings, reducing health care costs and improving patient outcomes.

Monday evening saw the full team meet once again for the second part of the 3-City Meeting. During this meeting, the team got to work, developing concrete ideas and areas of focus for Phase 2. Ideas were shared about populations to target, models to investigate, and methods to employ. In addition, the team provided valuable input into gaps in knowledge and service provision that could potentially be addressed through further study. The application process for Phase 2 was reviewed, and partners were informed of the expectations for involvement in the project going forward.

On Tuesday, partners representing Atelier Mobile, Radical Resthomes, and Welcome Hall Mission in Montreal; Calgary Allied Mobile Palliative Program (CAMPP) and the University of Calgary in Calgary; Simon Fraser University in Vancouver; and two lived experience partners, presented on the Aging in the Right Place project. Attendees learned about the project focus and progress so far, with partners highlighting key aspects of their programs that address aging-in-place along the housing continuum. Speakers included Dr. Christine Walsh, Hilary Chapple, Anne Cartledge, Eduardo Della Foresta, Janet Torge, Christian Rasytinis, Dr. Lara Nixon, Bonnie Larson, and Dr. Sarah Canham. This fantastic panel representing all three cities invited the audience to consider innovative models that support aging-in-place for older adults with experiences of homelessness, and encouraged anyone interested to join the Aging in the Right Place movement.

With full hearts and connected minds the team departed Edmonton. It was a fulfilling experience to meet and learn about one another, and to share passions for finding solutions to housing vulnerable populations. Now prepared with an arsenal of ideas, and buoyed by the enthusiasm of the weekend's meetings, the team looks forward to the application for Phase 2...

Link to the Canadian Alliance To End Homelessness