At the beginning of November, Edmonton was host to a National conference lead by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
This was a huge honor for our city and we are so proud of the work that Homeward Trust, the organizers and all the agencies put into make this happen.
Find was happy to sponsor the the event by using donated furniture to help furnish the book signing area in partnership with Audrey's Books, the Lived Experience lounge where conference attendees with living or lived experience had the opportunity to escape to a quiet, safe space just for them, as well as stage seating for the panel discussions.
Find's management team also had the opportunity to attend sessions at the conference to learn more about what other communities are doing to end homelessness across Canada.
In order to bring back as much information to our team, employees went to different learning sessions and reported back their take aways to our team. Sessions attend by our staff included:
- Implementing and Sustaining Housing first Evidenced-based Housing Support Programs
- Transforming Shelters to Become Housing-Focused: A Catalyst for Change
- Access and Assessment
- Matching and Referral Coordinated Access
- The Implementation of Reaching Home: Canada's Homelessness Strategy
- Trauma Informed Care
- By-Name Lists & Coordinated Access Systems 101
- Gender, Family and Homelessness: Understanding Health and Improving
Programming to Meet the Need
- Encampment to Housing: Rethinking Street Outreach and Responding to
We also had the honor of seeing some amazing keynote speakers like Grand Chief Dr. Wilton Littlechild, Dr. Eileen de Villa, Dan Heath, Cindy Blackstock, Dr. Sandy Buchman and Sheila Watt-Coultier, who spoke to myriad of topics ranging from Indigenous Homelessness and climate change to health crises amongst the homeless population.
It was three days of intense learning with some of the world's foremost experts in ending homelessness.
After debriefing the conference with our team, the main takeaways for us were that we were humbled by the work happening across the country to prioritize the importance of housing as a Human Right and the importance of prevention in the work that we do.
While Edmonton is at the forefront for the programming we have and the work we do to end homelessness, there is still so much to do to help our city's most vulnerable.
A quote that stuck with us from this conference was: "Nothing for us, without us!" Which really brought home the importance of understanding and meeting people where they are in order to provide the best possible care.
As an organization, we pledge to take the learnings this conference gave us and implement new strategies, learn more from our participants and continue to advocate for those who need it most.
This conference gave us the supercharge we needed to evaluate what we are doing and strive to make it better. With the support of our community we know we can end homelessness in Edmonton.
We WILL end homelessness in Edmonton.