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The Link: Housing First

Housing First is an innovative new philosophy on how to eliminate chronic homelessness in Canada. The program couples immediate access to housing, with the continued care of a support worker who monitors the participant’s social progress and helps guide them to a better future.

Studies suggest that in BC, nearly half of foster youth will experience homelessness within three years of leaving care. With no support, the transition to self-sufficiency is exceedingly difficult, especially with rising levels of living and education costs. This is why over 40% of parented Canadian youth are opting to live at home until their mid to late 20s. Young people in and from care typically do not have this option.

Access to housing and the continued development of youth, through Aunt Leah’s The Link program, can change this outcome and give local foster youth a platform for longterm success.

Aunt Leah’s Place supports youth by providing:

  • No age restrictions
  • A trusted housing procurement worker for one on one support and guidance to help secure and maintain housing
  • Rent subsidies
  • Help with resumes, job searching, and employment programs
  • Emergency food and clothing
  • Application help for income assistance and/or disability support
  • Use of a computer with Internet, printer, and telephone

For more information or to apply for admission into The Link: Housing First, please contact the Link Coordinator at 604-525-1204 ext. 224

Outcomes and Evaluation

Evaluation Report for Aunt Leah’s Link: Housing First Program

McCreary Centre Society carried out an evaluation of Aunt Leah’s Link: Housing First program which supports young people from government care who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. The purpose of the evaluation was to identify the extent to which participants’ involvement in the program contributed to improvements in their lives and to examine the extent to which Aunt Leah’s adaptation of the Housing First model is meeting the needs of youth from care.

The mixed-methods evaluation included a youth self-report survey (created with youth participants at Aunt Leah’s), a focus group with program participants, and interviews with Aunt Leah’s managers/staff, landlords, and representatives from other community agencies familiar with the Link: Housing First program. In addition, a literature review was carried out and informed a comparative analysis of how Aunt Leah’s adapted the Housing First model to their Link: Housing First program. A total of 26 program participants completed a survey (54% females), seven took part in a focus group, and 11 staff and other stakeholders took part in phone interviews.

Aunt Leah’s Place contracted McCreary Centre Society to carry out an independent evaluation of its Link: Housing First initiative from April 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

Click Here to read the full evaluation.

Funding Provided By:

This project is funded by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.

HPS Funds for the Metro Vancouver community are managed by Metro Vancouver in partnership with the Vancity Community Foundation and the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness