Racial Equity and the VI-SPDAT

Some communities, especially on the West Coast, have noticed in their data and/or anecdotally have expressed concerns with racial equity and the VI-SPDAT. I am glad they reached out with their concerns as this is good dialogue to have. We should have a tool – and approaches to administering the tool – that are as free from bias and inequity as possible. The two major concerns expressed are, firstly, that non-white people do not score high enough in the VI-SPDAT, and secondly that PSH resources disproportionately go to white people.

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Eligibility Does NOT Equal Entitlement

Eligibility means the state of having the right to do or obtain something through satisfaction of the appropriate conditions  (my emphasis added).

Entitlement means the fact of having a right to something; the belief that one is inherently deserving of privileges or special treatment  (again my emphasis added).

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So, You Think You're a Low Barrier Shelter...Let's Check

Hey all - sorry I have been stingy on the blog lately. I am back and will be here regularly for your reading pleasure.

The conversation goes something like this:

   Them: "We operate a low-barrier shelter."
   Me: "What makes it low-barrier?"
   Them: "We believe in Housing First."
   Me: "But what does that look like in practice?"

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Help Us Improve VI-SPDAT & SPDAT

We take the VI-SPDAT and SPDAT very seriously. Whether your community uses the VI-SPDAT (triage tool) and/or the SPDAT (assessment tool), we want to have your input as we go about making improvements to the next versions of the tools. Have your say through our survey which you can find here

Your input is vitally important. We will be looking at what you contribute along with what people with lived experience have to say, trainers have to say, the most current research has to say, and what experts in trauma, domestic violence, and anti-oppression have to say.

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Using an Intensive Case Management Approach with Rapid ReHousing Resources

The question comes up time and again – is it possible to serve people with higher acuity using Rapid Re-Housing?

The answer, simply, is yes. However, you need to use an Intensive Case Management approach. What does this mean practically speaking?

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Motivating Teams When the Results Aren't What You Wanted

Ann Oliva takes over the blog again this week and shares her thoughts on motivating your team when the results being achieved are not what you wanted.

This last year has been one that brought a lot of changes into my life – new work, new priorities, new partners.  But maybe most importantly I have had the privilege of having new types of conversations with people working on homelessness in communities around the country – and I have been overwhelmed by the acceptance and willingness of people to have me involved in their work.

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A Big Step Forward Ending Homelessness in Canada

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy was released today. It is the biggest overhaul of homelessness funding in Canada in the almost two decades that federal funding has been available for homelessness in the country. There is plenty to be excited about – a doubling of homelessness funding and an extension of the program to 10 years to name a couple.

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What Is An Acceptable Rate of Death?

For the last month I have been working on a data set to better understand unsheltered homelessness. Yes, I have been working on that when I should have been blogging. And returning emails. And other functions necessary for running a business (which I am reminded of from time to time that OrgCode is).

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5 Core Principles

In ending homelessness, we need to work with urgency but not with haste. We need to focus on that which we know, not that which we think. And regardless of whether we are operating a shelter, outreach program, day service, Rapid Re-Housing or Permanent Supportive Housing program – or any other program for that matter – we need to ensure we are aligned to the same 5 core principles of the work.

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Planned Disengagement

In time-limited housing support programs, when and how we end the housing support process requires careful thought.

Disengagement has a slew of other names in our sector. Graduation. Program exit. Program end. Service delivery conclusion. etc. I am going to go with disengagement, and in this blog, I am talking about planned, voluntary termination of time in a program because the program participant has been successful in the program. I am not talking about involuntary, unplanned ends of program involvement.

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