End homelessness: Put housing first

    TORONTO, April 14 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Housing and Renewal
Association's (CHRA) new Policy Statement on Homelessness declares that
"Canada urgently needs a comprehensive national housing strategy that includes
ending homelessness as a top priority." The Policy Position on Homelessness
will be released on Wednesday, April 15th, 2009, at a full-day workshop
affiliated with CHRA's 41st Annual Congress.
    Estimates of the population of people experiencing homelessness in Canada
each year are as high as 300,000. These people are often hungry, cold, and
lack adequate medical care. The causes of homelessness are varied and complex,
but the solutions are generally well understood and achievable. The 9
recommendations for action in CHRA's Policy Position on Homelessness are
concrete and practical.
    "The traditional practice has been to try to address the numerous life
issues facing homeless people before housing them. We believe, from a social
and economic point of view, that the reverse should be done," says CHRA
President Dave Eddy. "We should house people first, and then provide them with
the supports they need."
    Application of the "Housing First" model is growing, with groundbreaking
initiatives like Streets to Homes in Toronto, and CHRA's 2009 Robert Hale Jr.
Award winner Buffalo Housing First Program in Red Deer, Alberta as good
examples. CHRA is calling for the adoption of Housing First models throughout
    Following the Policy Statement release, Nan Roman, President and CEO of
the U.S. National Alliance to End Homelessness will give the day's keynote
address. This will be followed by concurrent sessions and mobile workshops on
specific housing solutions to homelessness.

    CHRA President Dave Eddy and Acting Executive Director Geoff Gillard will
be available to answer questions.

    The full text of the Policy Statement on Homelessness is available at

    When: Wednesday, April 15th, 2009
    9: 00 am: Release of the Policy Position on Homelessness, CHRA President
    Dave Eddy and Policy Advisory Committee member Stephen Gaetz
    9: 20 am: Address by Nan Roman, President and CEO of the National
    Alliance to End Homelessness

    Where: Hilton Toronto, 145 Richmond Street West

For further information:

For further information: or to schedule interviews: Melodie Cardin, CHRA
Communications Coordinator, (613) 594-3007 ext. 19, mcardin@chra-achru.ca

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