If we are truly going to end homelessness in Vancouver, we need to provide housing for those already homeless, and keep those at risk from finding themselves on the street.
Housing is considered a fundamental determinant of good health and overall quality of life. For individuals with HIV/AIDS, access to appropriate housing is even more essential for maintaining physical health, mental well-being, and for preventing HIV transmission. Unfortunately, issues with stigma and discrimination can make finding housing a significant challenge for individuals with HIV/AIDS.
In 2010, Streetohome partnered with McLaren Housing Society to help prevent 29 people from losing their safe, secure housing. Since 1996, McLaren has operated a rent subsidy program for those able to live in private market rental housing. In 2010, Streetohome committed bridge funding of $45,000 when McLaren determined this program was in jeopardy because of funding shortfalls.
The lack of supportive housing for young substance-using mothers who are leaving hospital is a significant cause of homelessness and placement into foster care. In 2010, Streetohome provided $500,000 to the Aboriginal Mother Centre, which will create 16 units of transitional housing for homeless women and children. The Centre, scheduled to open mid-2011, also offers daycare, and work-experience opportunities for the mothers and the community.