End Homelessness St. John’s (EHSJ)


(709) 689-9615          Email: bpearce@nl.rogers.com
Fax: (709) 739-3520         Website: http://www.nlhhn.org/ehsj-a.htm


To prevent and end homelessness in St. John’s. End Homelessness St. John’s is a multi-stakeholder, community-led, ‘collective impact’ board implementing the 2014-2019 St. John’s Community Plan to End Homelessness.

Target population:

Individuals and families experiencing homelessness, or at imminent risk of homelessness in St. John’s.

Highlight of Programs / Services Offered:

Implementation of the 2014-2019 St. John’s Community Plan to End Homelessness.

  • This is being achieved by actively engaging key stakeholders across multiple sectors, including provincial partners leading social housing, homelessness and poverty work, the regional health authority, diverse service providers, the City of St. John’s, frontline community-based organizations, and persons with lived experience of homelessness.

EHJS’s initiatives are guided by the following ‘Housing First’ principles:

  • Rapid housing placement with supports: This involves helping clients locate and secure accommodation as rapidly as possible and assisting them with moving in.
  • Offering clients a reasonable choice: Clients must be given a reasonable choice in terms of housing options as well as the services they wish to access.
  • Separating housing provision from treatment services: Acceptance of treatment, following treatment, or compliance with services is not a requirement for housing tenure, but clients are willing to accept monthly visits.
  • Providing tenancy rights and responsibilities: Clients are required to contribute a portion of their income towards rent.
  • Integrating housing into the community to encourage client recovery.
  • Recovery-based and promoting self-sufficiency: The focus is on capabilities of the person, based on self-determined goals, which may include employment, education and participation in the community.

The following initiatives are being implemented through St. John’s Community Plan:

  • Intensive Case Management (ICM) – “Front Step”: Longer-term case management and housing support to 155 high acuity homeless clients facing addictions, mental health and domestic violence and the length of stay generally between 12 and 24 months.
    • EHSJ delivers “Front Step” through Choices for Youth and Stella’s Circle, who are able to assist clients in scattered-site housing (market and non-market) through wrap-around services and the use of financial supports to subsidize rent and living costs and increase self-sufficiency.
  • Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH): Long-term housing and support to individuals who have experienced long-term or recurring homelessness, who face complex mental health, addiction, and physical health barriers.
    • PSH can be delivered in a place-based or scattered-site model to the highest acuity clients. While support services are offered and made readily available, the programs do not require participation to remain in housing, there is also no limit to the length of stay in the program.
    • Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) programs are an example of PSH using scattered-site housing.
    • EHSJ is providing funding for PSH to the Cochrane Centre, John Howard Society NL, and the Salvation Army.
  • Rapid Rehousing provides targeted, time-limited financial assistance and support service for those experiencing homelessness in order to help them quickly exit emergency shelters and then retain housing.
    • The program targets clients with lower acuity levels using case management and financial supports to assist with the cost of housing.
    • The length of stay is usually less than one year in the program as it targets those who can live independently after receiving subsidies and support services.
  • Prevention programs, particularly Eviction Prevention and Diversion, provide assistance to individuals and families at risk of becoming homeless.
    • Prevention programs couple financial support (rent and utility arrears, damage deposit, etc.) with case management to achieve housing stabilization. Eviction prevention programs stabilize those at imminent risk for homelessness using supports and connecting program participants to financial assistance; diversion programs divert clients at the shelter door and connect clients to financial assistance.
    • EHSJ’s Homelessness Prevention & Rapid Rehousing Program is being delivered by Choices for Youth and Stella’s Circle and will assist 360 individuals and families.
  • Homeless-serving System Coordination: System planning considers the homeless-serving system as an integrated whole comprised of defined program components working towards a common end.
    • Rather than managing homelessness and its impacts, the focus of the response is to end it. This includes coordinating access across services to make it easier for those in need to get the right support, at the right time.
    • We have to develop measures that ensure clients do not cycle in and out of public systems like jails and hospitals and homeless shelters by developing discharge/transition planning processes.
    • To support this systems approach, an integrated information system will be essential. Such locally administered, electronic data collection systems allow various services to share information to enhance coordination efforts. This means that we have to better align data collection, reporting, intake, assessment, and referrals across the homeless-serving system.
    • To increase service quality across our system, we will develop standards that articulate common expectations across housing and support services. Service standards will help us gauge quality across interventions and enhance client outcomes.
    • Capacity building and technical assistance will be required to support service providers in meeting such standards and transitioning to Housing First. Supporting front-line service providers and landlords to deliver Housing First is an essential part of successful Plan implementation. This requires the development and delivery of targeted training to communities of practice serving the homeless and technical assistance.
    • Similarly, we will need to work together to agree on common performance management processes to ensure we are all moving towards the same goals in day-to-day practice, and that we can demonstrate progress at the client, program, and system levels.
    • Leveraging diverse resources and funding streams is essential for maximum impact. We have to find ways to leverage the diverse funding streams in our community to support common objectives.
    • Successful communities implementing Housing First have strong implementation bodies like End Homelessness St. John’s that manage system coordination and Plan implementation.