Mission Services’ Housing Focused shelter provide a safe space to stay while service users take steps to secure their own safe, sustainable, permanent accommodations. Service users are supported by on-site case management staff who provide ongoing assistance in accessing the internal and external supports and services needed to obtain and sustain permanent housing.
While some stays in an emergency shelter may be longer than others depending on an individual service users unique situation or circumstances, shelter stays are not permanent. Housing Focused Emergency Shelters like ours are where people may stay temporarily during a homelessness experience but it is an expectation that individuals are making efforts to secure their own accommodations.
Mission Services Housing Focused Emergency Shelter supports individuals from all walks of life, each with unique situations and circumstances. We do make individuals aware that this service – like every other – has expectations of users when they are accessing them. As importantly as what is expected from service users, we work to make it clearly known what service users can reasonably expect from Mission Services. While we work diligently to meet individuals needs as best as we’re able, there are some misconceptions about what we can provide. We are primarily a housing service provider who offer case management supports in addition to standard emergency shelter services (beds/bedding/showers/meals/dormitory style/lockers) and while we certainly do our best to support individuals who may be adversely impacted by mental and/or physical health issues, and/or substance use issues, there are still limits to what we can support given that we are not a hospital nor are we a mental health or addictions treatment facility.
Since the beginning of the pandemic over 140 shelter service users exited our emergency shelter for their own accommodations.
Early Intervention Services
Prior to accessing emergency shelter, or in the early days of emergency shelter access, Early Intervention Services concentrates on assisting service users to find secure, safe and sustainable accommodations.
Early Intervention & Shelter Diversion is not saying “no” to sheltering people that have exhausted all of their alternate housing options. Rather, Early Intervention works to prevent people from accessing emergency shelter services where other housing options might be available and ensures housing focused emergency shelter beds are used as a resource only when necessary.
Staff will support individuals in their effort to retain existing temporary or permanent housing with access to time-limited supports. If an assessment determines that an individual has no safe and appropriate alternative to them in the community, the individual will be referred to emergency shelter services and Mission Services and its staff will remain housing focused in order to support the individual in their pursuit of permanent housing.
Since April ‘21 approximately 85 individuals were assisted in securing alternate accommodations through Early Intervention supports (85 of 271 individuals looking to access emergency shelter)
Mission Services Housing UP is an intensive case-management program that supports chronically homeless male-identified and non-binary adults to move into permanent housing and facilitates services and supports that promote housing stability.
Accessing supports is not a precondition to housing, and re-housing support will be provided in the event of housing loss, without break in service. This project offers distinct housing services and Intensive Case Management Supports. Housing UP, as part of Hamilton’s Coordinated Access System, works to ensure all referred homeless individuals can access appropriate services.
Housing UP aims to assist individuals in paying 30% or less of their income on housing. Subsidized housing, housing allowances, portable housing benefits, and other types of housing with subsidies are important resources for achieving affordability and will be actively sought for clients when possible. Housing UP assists all clients with maintaining an active application with Hamilton’s social housing waitlist, Access to Housing, applying for Ontario Works, and in applying and appealing for ODSP/CPP disability, as necessary.
With extended service and support periods, Housing UP case management staff remain a resource to service users well after the user is housed and continues to deliver ongoing housing support in an effort to make the housing placement as sustainable as possible.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Housing UP has supported over 250 individuals secure their own accommodations.
– Shawn MacKeigan, Director of Addiction and Men’s Services