News / Winnipeg

‘Four walls is not going to end homelessness’: Winnipeg street team housing more people

More people are staying housed after six months compared to four years ago.

Community Homeless Assistance Team housed 104 people in the first six months of 2017.

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Community Homeless Assistance Team housed 104 people in the first six months of 2017.

A cookie-cutter approach isn’t going to end homelessness, according to a Winnipeg street team working to solve the problem.

The Community Homeless Assistance Team (CHAT), an offshoot of the Downtown Winnipeg Business Improvement Zone (BIZ), released its statistics for the first six months of 2017 on Thursday. So far, 104 people have been housed. Of that amount, 90 people stayed in their living situation after six months.

Those figures have more than doubled in four years. In 2013, CHAT housed 43 people, and one person stayed longer than six months.

That's partly because the team doubled to eight employees in about two years, allowing them to reach out to more people.

“We go out there and find the need, whether that means getting someone into treatment or housing and following up,” said CHAT outreach coordinator, Christy Loudon.

The team works with individuals and assesses their personal needs—it could be helping people find identification to apply for social assistance, getting people to appointments or familiarizing them with the right services.

“Putting them in four walls is not going to end homelessness, you need to find out what brought them to that point,” she said.

The people CHAT houses go to a variety of places, said Stefano Grande, CEO, Downtown Winnipeg BIZ, including homeless shelters, Manitoba Housing or rooming houses.

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