In August 2008 Metro Non-Profit Housing Association in partnership with Direction 180, a community-based low-threshold methadone program came together to establish Halifax Housing Help (HHH) as a unique response to the desperate need of single individuals who require access to housing supports and eviction prevention, and who have experienced homelessness or been at serious risk of homelessness.
Since 2008, HHH has increased the number of participants with the aim of providing trusteeship to 150 individuals and housing supports and eviction prevention to over 200 individuals. The increased capability of HHH, with full-time staffing and increased ability to provide intensive case management, enables participants to receive a vast array of services, such supports in relation to intensive case management, advocacy, and collaboration between community and governmental agencies. HHH is also providing referrals to needed services that the community can offer beyond the scope of the program, such as intensive mental health services, brain injury programs, and community clubhouses.
The past year witnessed many changes for Halifax Housing Help as the Homelessness Partnering Strategy extended the grant funding to HHH for an additional year, to March 2012, with additional funding for more accounting services to provide support to the trustee program.
October saw the creation of a unique one-day event for individuals in the community who are experiencing homelessness or who are at risk of experiencing homelessness, with the community initiative Halifax Connects. HHH represented the community as the central organization that can provide connections for clients to shelter, intermediate housing, and long-term housing options such as Killam Properties, 250 Homes, Metro regional Housing Association, and Metro Non-Profit Housing Association.
Halifax Housing Help continues its involvement with the Out of the Cold Shelter, providing resources to the individuals staying there, along with assistance in finding housing and navigating through the Department of Community Services. The program has also responded in emergency situations such as the closing of rooming houses and apartments, one due to an oil spill, one as the result of a fire and another due to flooding .
HHH has presented for multiple organizations, such as MOSH, Correctional Service of Canada, Dartmouth and
Halifax Parole office, and Auburn Drive High School. Halifax Housing Help has been developing formal policies to identify and track the barriers participants face in housing, as well as developing and implementing formal policies for intensive case management.