How A Small Town Answered Homelessness and Reached ‘Functional Zero’

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How A Small Town Answered Homelessness and Reached ‘Functional Zero’

Find out how Alberta’s Medicine Hat became the first city in Canada to reach functional zero chronic homelessness.

October 19, 2022

In 2021 the city of Medicine Hat in Alberta became the first place in Canada to reach functional zero in the category of chronic homelessness. The functional end to chronic homelessness is defined as a city having no more than three individuals at risk of being chronically homeless for more than three consecutive months.

The city, with a population of 63,300, faces a 13 percent poverty rate and an opioid crisis, both of which strongly impact the housing stability of its residents. In 2009 Medicine Hat set out on a mission to end homelessness within its borders. Over the years the city developed a data-driven, housing-first approach – where people experiencing homelessness are provided housing without any preconditions. In this webinar, you will learn how Medicine Hat worked to develop relationships with landlords, strengthen its housing loss prevention efforts, and put housing first.

Presenter:

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Jaime Rogers
Manager of the Homeless and Housing Development Department
Medicine Hat Community Housing Society

Jaime Rogers continues to work toward the goal of ending homelessness for all. Since 2009, Jaime has led the implementation and data monitoring of “At Home in Medicine Hat – Our Plan to End Homelessness.” Based on a housing first and systems planning approach, the success of this program has led other communities to implement the Medicine Hat approach. Jaime holds a Master of Social Work from the University of British Columbia and a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Calgary. 

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