Getting to Zero: Solving Homelessness

5 Key

A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation

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Full Panel

Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to with “transcription” in the subject line.

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Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

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From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at

16:30:57 From mark guslits to Hosts and panelists : Hi Mary
16:32:02 From Canadian Urban Institute : Welcome! Folks, please change your chat settings to “everyone” so everyone can see your comments.
16:32:14 From Canadian Urban Institute : Attendees: where are you tuning in from today?
16:32:27 From Kim MacLean : Toronto, ON, Canada
16:32:27 From Durstyne Farnan to Hosts and panelists : New York City near the UN
16:32:28 From Steve Sutherland : Aurora, ON – Trellis Transit
16:32:29 From Myra Thomson to Hosts and panelists : Nanaimo BC
16:32:32 From Christopher Clacio to Hosts and panelists : Winnipeg mb treaty 1
16:32:34 From Rachel Stark : Charlotte, NC
16:32:35 From Catherine McKenney : Ottawa
16:32:35 From Laura Pfeifer : Regina, SK
16:32:37 From Jeff Palmer : Winnipeg!
16:32:39 From Robin McPherson : St. Catharines, ON
16:32:39 From Sara Behring : Belleville, ON
16:32:40 From Christina McGugan : Windsor, On
16:32:40 From Laura Dumas to Hosts and panelists : Attending from St. Catharines Ontario
16:32:40 From Jeffrey Sinclair : Niagara Region, ON
16:32:41 From Beverley Bradnam : Fort Erie, Ontario
16:32:41 From Angel Yang : Hi everyone! I’m in Toronto
16:32:41 From Whitney Kitchen : Windsor, ON
16:32:43 From Nik Kinzel-Cadrin : Saskatoon, SK
16:32:44 From Amber Crawford : Toronto, ON
16:32:44 From Myra Thomson : Nanaimo BC
16:32:45 From Erika Morton : Hamilton, On!
16:32:45 From Pam Sharp : Niagara Falls ON
16:32:47 From Steve Brnjas : St. Catharines Ontario
16:32:47 From Julie Evans to Hosts and panelists : Niagara, Ontario
16:32:48 From Romas Juknevicius : Mississauga, Ontario
16:32:49 From Jennifer Legate : Treaty 7
16:32:49 From Diane Dyson : Montreal!
16:32:49 From Ted Hildebrandt (he/him) – CDH : Burlington, Ontario
16:32:49 From mark guslits : Prince Edward County – Milford
16:32:50 From Kelly Goz : Windsor, Ontario Canada
16:32:50 From Melissa Legacy : Vancouver Island
16:32:51 From Beate Bowron : toronto
16:32:52 From Annita Parish : Montreal
16:32:54 From Dick Passmore : Niagara Region
16:32:54 From Luisa Sorrentino : Belleville Ontario
16:32:55 From Matt Nomura : Calgary, AB
16:32:57 From Tanya Osborne to Hosts and panelists : Kelowna, BC
16:32:58 From Brady Holek : Windsor, ON
16:33:01 From Philippe Reicher : Calgary,
16:33:03 From Liz Pollock : Blackfalds, AB
16:33:04 From Julie MacIsaac : Oshawa, ON
16:33:05 From Karin Phuong to Hosts and panelists : Mississauga
16:33:05 From Nida Mirza to Hosts and panelists : Tkaranto
16:33:07 From Brenna MacKinnon : Waterloo, ON
16:33:08 From Leandro Santos : Mississauga, ON
16:33:14 From Kali Holahan : Prince George, BC
16:33:15 From Beate Bowron : Toronto, Ontario
16:33:19 From Diana Gunstone : Squamish, BC – where I am honoured to reside on the ancestr
16:33:19 From Philippe Reicher : Calgary, Alberta
16:33:21 From Tanya Osborne : Kelowna, BC
16:33:24 From Jessica Hum to Hosts and panelists : Hello – calling in from the traditional territories of the Esquimalt, Songhees and Lekwungen speaking peoples, in Victoria BC.
16:33:35 From LoriAnn Girvan : Bonjour de Gatineau – traditional, unceded territory of the Algonquin – Anishnabeg people.
16:33:36 From Donnie Rosa to Hosts and panelists : Unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples – Vancouver BC
16:33:41 From Ann McAfee : Coquitlam BC
16:33:42 From Deb Schlichter : City of Brantford
16:33:43 From Gary Waterfield : Greetings from Perth Ontario This is a critical topic
16:33:47 From Caroline Taylor to Hosts and panelists : Caroline Taylor Windsor Ont.
16:33:56 From Abby S She/her : Hello from Tkaronto
16:33:56 From Maya Kambeitz to Hosts and panelists : Greetings from Calgary!
16:34:00 From Diane Dyson : The lands of Kanawake and Kanasatake
16:34:02 From Jeremy Heighton : Kamloops (North Shore) BC
16:34:03 From Judith Maxwell : Judy Maxwell, Ottawa☺️
16:34:14 From David Harrison : Dartmouth, NS
16:34:23 From Leandro Santos : The lands of the Mississaugas of the Credit
16:34:29 From fredrica walters to Hosts and panelists : Greetings from Ajax, ON
16:34:29 From Kelly OBrien : Whitby, Ontario-
16:34:33 From Samantha Carr : Massachusetts, US ☺️
16:34:41 From Jessica Hum : Hello – my gratitude to be living and working from the traditional territories of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations and Lekwungen speaking peoples, in Victoria BC.
16:34:47 From Suzanne Bennett : Hello from St Albert – treaty 6 and Metis lands
16:34:47 From dan schumacher : WaterlooOntario
16:34:55 From Diana Gunstone : Yes I am honoured to live and work on the tradtional unceeded Lands of the Squamish Nation
16:34:59 From Rahma Hashi : Toronto, ON, representing the library!
16:35:11 From Vicki Sinclair : Winnipeg – Treaty 1 Territory and homeland of the Metis People
16:35:14 From Brendon Nicholson : Southridge Shelter – St. Catharines, ON
16:35:17 From Kary Fell to Hosts and panelists : Kelowna, BC
16:35:19 From Canadian Urban Institute : Meet our speakers: Rosanne Haggerty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions @cmtysolutions Rosanne Haggerty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions, is an internationally recognized leader in developing innovative strategies to end homelessness. Community Solutions assists communities throughout the US, Canada, and internationally in implementing systems that measurably end homelessness and change the conditions that produce it. Their large-scale initiatives include the 100,000 Homes Campaign and Built for Zero. Earlier Rosanne founded and led Common Ground Community, a pioneer in the development of supportive housing models and other research based practices that end homelessness.
16:35:34 From Nida Mirza : Tkaranto
16:35:35 From Canadian Urban Institute : Mayor Dan Carter, City of Oshawa @DanCarterOshawa From a background of immense personal challenge and tragedy, Dan Carter was elected Mayor of Oshawa in 2018. Prior to his career in politics, Dan served as a motivational speaker, sharing his experience being homeless and living with mental health and addiction.
16:35:41 From Carolyn Fish : Niagara Region
16:35:49 From Peter Stoett : Peter Stoett in Oshawa
16:35:49 From Canadian Urban Institute : Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, Director of Housing & Research, Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society @aceh_society With over 30 years of experience in senior management, Indigenous community development and leadership, Fran brings an Indigenous lens to understanding both the challenges and solutions facing Indigenous peoples, with a focus on strengthening self-identity, creating pathways to recovery/healing, and developing culturally-supportive housing.
16:36:03 From Canadian Urban Institute : Jaime Rogers, Manager, Homeless & Housing Development Department, Medicine Hat Community Housing Society @endhomelessness Jaime was charged with leading the oversight, implementation and monitoring of At Home in Medicine Hat – Our Plan to End Homelessness. Under her leadership, Medicine Hat, Alberta became the first city to end functional homelessness in Canada.
16:36:17 From Julie Evans : Niagara, Ontario
16:36:48 From Angela Kiu : Calgary, AB – Howdy all!
16:37:04 From Laura Dumas : Niagara
16:37:11 From Laura Dumas : Nesrine Kandil – Start Me Up Niagara.
16:37:15 From Canadian Urban Institute : Community Solutions is the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation’s 100&Change grant, which awards $100 million to a single proposal that promises real and measurable progress in solving a critical problem of our time. Their Built for Zero initiative works with 100 communities to apply public health strategies to make homelessness rare overall and brief when it occurs. Learn more here:
16:37:16 From Leanne Goode : Oshawa, ON
16:37:30 From Marion Overholt : Windsor Ontario
16:37:36 From Paul Pentikainen : planner from Innisfil
16:37:38 From Petra Matar to Hosts and panelists : Petra Matar from dpai architecture inc in Hamilton Ontario
16:37:43 From Sho Isogai : Auckland, New Zealand
16:37:46 From Daisy Vazquez : NY, NY
16:38:05 From Yutong Zhao : Toronto, ON
16:38:11 From Kristina McMillan Schwartz : Calgary, Alberta
16:38:16 From Lindsay Allan : Thank you for a wonderful intro Mary!
16:38:56 From Glenn Brown : How turn off cc?
16:39:16 From Jayne Armstrong to Hosts and panelists : Toronto, ON on the land of Mississauga’s of the Credit
16:39:50 From Jessica Hum to Hosts and panelists : Hello organizers! Will the recording link be shared with participants, for those who could not stay for the whole event?
16:41:32 From Canadian Urban Institute : Hi Jessica. The recording and transcript of today’s lecture will be available at
16:41:36 From Mary W Rowe to mark guslits and all panelists : hey mark 🙂
16:41:43 From Jessica Hum to Hosts and panelists : Thanks CUI!
16:42:13 From Christel Kjenner : Edmonton, Alberta
16:44:28 From Diane Dyson : Glenn, you should see a button at the bottom of your screen (if you are on a desktop).
16:44:46 From Mary W Rowe to Glenn Brown and all panelists : go down to bottom right and toggle it off
16:49:25 From lance brown to Hosts and panelists : Woodstock, New York
16:57:30 From Marie-Josée Houle : Ottawa – the traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people
17:00:45 From Josée Pharand to Hosts and panelists : Rosanne, I have the transcript of your 60 Minutes Interview from December 26, 1999. That interview is the reason I’m trying to help to end homelessness – I was so moved by that segment that I wrote to 60 minutes for the transcript and kept it all this time. I didn’t connect that interview with this webinar until just now!
17:03:06 From Canadian Urban Institute to Josée Pharand and all panelists : Hi there! Thank you for this note. This message was sent only to the host and panelists. Please change your chat settings to “everyone” so that everyone can see your comments. Thanks and let me know if you have any questions.
17:03:25 From Canadian Urban Institute : Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “everyone” so that everyone can see your comments. Thank you!
17:05:13 From Marion Goertz : Family therapist in Calgary, AB. In the spirit of reconciliation and respect, we acknowledge that we live, work and play on the traditional territories of the Blackfoot Confederacy (Siksika, Kainai, Piikani), the Tsuut’ina, the Îyâxe Nakoda Nations, the Métis Nation (Region 3), and all people who make their homes in the Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta.
17:06:41 From Stephen Booth : Mathieu Fleury is a slumlord…Ottawa Community Housing is disaster.
The systemic abuse of elderly and disabled persons at the hands of Ottawa Community Housing is a conversation that needs to be had. They are not a commodity for “the industry” to exploit.


3+ Billion $ slumlord
2 recent youth murders in slumlord Ottawa Community Housing ghetto.OCH #1 cockroach,bedbug,rat,garbage infestation and slumlord on Ottawa. #MathieuFleury #ScottMoffatt21 #cmckenney #tm_kavanagh #rawlsonking (Board)
17:09:15 From CATHERINE Nasmith to Hosts and panelists : Wow
17:09:27 From Sho Isogai : Another great presentation and well done Rosanne. You are a legend!
17:09:34 From Beate Bowron : Rosanne, are you working in Toronto?
17:09:52 From Dick Passmore : Yes!
17:10:43 From Abby Jackson : what are best practices for getting representation of persons experiencing homelessness living in the state’s right of way (along highways and such), who might not otherwise be included in local services offered by a city or county? What messaging has worked well for inclusiveness and collaboration and convincing leaders to care about the individuals that are not on their land but are part of their community?
17:11:45 From Amy Buitenhuis : people may be interested to know that Toronto is now reporting on homelessness in the way discussed in this presentation (using a by name list of people who are homeless)
17:13:08 From Karen Ramsay Cline to Hosts and panelists : Hello to the host and panelists – FYI some of us are zooming in from different levels of government, organizations etc – very important for many levels to work together to address this complex topic.
17:14:06 From Rachel Stark : We do work like that in the City of Charlotte, NC. We’re working this way to better meet a range of goals such as housing, crime, and jobs. Some of the challenges we face are just breaking people off their normal way of doing business but also sometimes just getting leadership to trust/back the results. What are some of the tips you all have for that?
17:17:58 From Lindsay Allan : What can you say with respects to ‘common assessment’ process built into this work?
17:18:37 From Abby S She/her to Hosts and panelists : Are those 89 communities areas within cities or entire cities? Or both? I ask having just read about the rise in people experiencing homelessness in Venice Beach California ans the massive resistance of the residents of Venice Beach.
17:18:46 From fredrica walters to Hosts and panelists : Some towns want homelessness to go away, pretending it does not exist as it posed a challenge to their re-election. Businesses sees it as a problem for their customers and it is frustrating when people will not admit their is a problem. This is one of the primary challenge along with agencies not willing to work toward the same end goal.
17:20:14 From Canadian Urban Institute : We love your comments and questions in the chat! Share them with everyone by changing your chat settings to “everyone”. Thanks
17:21:33 From Paul Pentikainen : Do you know of any cities/towns that were able to have higher levels of government foot the bill for permanent housing to be paid back by the tax dollars spent locally on homelessness? We know we spend more on emergency health services, police services, and shelter costs then it would cost to house them in supportive housing units, but its the annual municipal budgets that cannot afford the long term costs (mortgages) to make this happen, which only the Provincial/Federal governments can do.
17:22:03 From Paul Wirch to Hosts and panelists : Mayor Carter, are you able to share about the challenges and opportunities being faced by “The Refuge” in creating temporary housing for youth on Simcoe Street?
17:25:39 From Paul Pentikainen : obviously there have been piecemeal funding by higher levels of gov, but how can we get them to give cities/towns loans/mortgages to be paid back from cost savings from municipal budgets?
17:26:50 From Dick Passmore : As we did with the Housing First model, we just need to use the same common philosophy and add in the ‘local context’ and local resources.
17:26:58 From Abby S She/her to Hosts and panelists : Exactly Mary. How do we keep the
mindset of just get it done.
17:30:04 From Paul Pentikainen : Im here in Toronto and my local gov just spent $20 million on police and security guards to kick the homeless out of parks. The cities and towns have all the money they need to house the homeless, they just have it in an annual fashion and thus need higher level mortgages/loans. how do we get these? Im stumped
17:31:58 From Abby S She/her : It seems so obvious that those who are
experiencing homelessness are the ones who need to be part of the solution. As does consulting deeply with indigenous communities.
17:32:17 From John Ryerson : Homeless Soccer gives people sense of identity often tying back to their culture
17:33:26 From Krista Loughton to Hosts and panelists : Great to see and hear Fran on this call.
17:33:46 From Donnie Rosa to Hosts and panelists : Fran, I’m heading to the Island in October and would love to connect if you have a moment???
17:34:35 From Paul Pentikainen : Maybe a petition by all municipalities to demand feds give us loans/mortgages?
17:34:58 From Allyson Hewitt to Hosts and panelists : User centred design 🙂
17:35:50 From Abby S She/her : Person first
17:36:06 From Matt Nomura : Exactly Fran
17:36:31 From Beate Bowron : Homes First, but with all the support services needed and coordinated
17:36:32 From Trish Sorrenti : housing first gives a sense of security and allows outreach workers to better track and work with individuals
17:37:01 From Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi to Donnie Rosa and all panelists : Unfortunately I am out of country in October.
17:37:11 From Jeremy Heighton : There are four pillars to a healing community, it must go beyond “housing first” to be robust enough to create health based outcomes. Housing first creates to introductory step, we are missing the second and beyond steps (counseling, health, etc. here we have little depth of care systems.
17:37:24 From fredrica walters : All cities/towns must be on board with their municipalities to address the problem.
17:37:36 From Donnie Rosa : Being able to celebrate culture and community at local parks is an important part of social connectivity – engage your parks and rec folks in the wrap-around services.
17:37:51 From Sho Isogai : Re-Creating a functional, collaborative/coordinated, data-driven housing and homelessness systems in the multi-sectors in the community maybe…
17:37:52 From C Kagan to Hosts and panelists : Seems like housing first is the key, but an holistic approach to home and security must also be used
17:37:53 From Dick Passmore : Housing First is an approach that works with a certain percentage of our individuals, and was never meant to be the be all and end all…
17:38:03 From Trish Sorrenti : our municipality has challenges with individuals who are on the street or in encampments but aren’t actually homeless. what then?
17:38:35 From fredrica walters : Agree with you Mayor Dan. See them as “People First “
17:38:54 From Abby S She/her to Hosts and panelists : Yes thank you Mayor Dan.
17:39:42 From Sho Isogai : Some say, “Whole-of-governments and whole-of-society approaches”.
17:39:46 From Abby S She/her to Hosts and panelists : How do you balance
encampments which some inhabitants may see as housing?
17:40:17 From Jeremy Lewis : Excellent presentation and discussion from all of the panelists. Rosanne, can you please share some examples of the way in which real time population level data translates into more effective interventions or policy in this sector? What evidence can you share that the data-intervention cycle is in fact improving results, compared to procedures that lack near real-time data? How can population level data be used in a nuanced way that recognizes the complexity of individual experience?
17:40:23 From Abby S She/her to Hosts and panelists : It speaks to Mayor Dan’s comment about reaching different populations.
17:40:27 From Matt Nomura : Well said Jaime – bravo.
17:41:30 From Abby S She/her : Right. Mayor Dan. Haven’t we learned that massive interventions and support must accompany housing?
17:41:40 From C Kagan to Hosts and panelists : Agree 100% with what the mayor is saying
17:41:52 From Sue Holdsworth : As it was said earlier, housing is not the outcome, it is a means to the outcome. Perhaps the outcome is wellbeing.
17:41:53 From Olusola Olufemi : Holistic approach that puts ‘people’ at the core of Housing First philosophy.
17:41:59 From Matt Nomura : very true Mayor Dan!
17:44:51 From Abby S She/her : Housing budgets must include budgets for the ongoing complexities. They cannot stop when the door is closed.
17:45:35 From Sho Isogai : Well said Rosanne!
17:46:14 From Jeremy Lewis : Thank you Rosanne, those were very vivid examples. That is very granular data you have access to, very interesting
17:50:29 From Kelly Goz : find natural leaders – they are not necessarily the CEOs of organizations
17:51:51 From lance brown to Hosts and panelists : Thank you all. Keep on keeping on!
17:54:50 From dan schumacher : This meeting is formidably informative
17:55:37 From fredrica walters : Please Mayor Dan. Talk to the other Mayor’s in our Region. Some just want it to go AWAY!
17:55:40 From Myra Thomson : Very well said Mayor Dan!!!!
17:56:27 From Canadian Urban Institute : Keep the conversation going #gettingtozero #citytalk @canurb You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our sessions at
17:56:46 From fredrica walters : Thank you so much for this platform. Refreshing!
17:58:05 From Mona Moreau : How many homeless are there in Toronto? Anyone know?
17:59:04 From Jeremy Lewis :
17:59:15 From Karen Ramsay Cline : An excellent and important conversation. Thank you Fran, Rosanne, Jaime and Dan, along the host Mary Rowe at CUI..
17:59:17 From Myra Thomson : Can we get a link to this study please?
17:59:37 From Romas Juknevicius : Thanks to all the panelists and comments provided. I’m a planner in the City of Mississauga, ON and a co-chair of our 2021 United Way campaign so joined the call to learn more about this issue and this has been a very informative session! Definitely a complex problem that requires a multi-faceted approach.
17:59:39 From dan schumacher to Hosts and panelists : Common Cause Common Terms Communi cation Communification
17:59:40 From Abby S She/her : Just saw this program by Toronto Public
Library. Civil Forum: A Complex Exile – Homelessness in Canada by TPL Culture (usually can be found after the fact)
18:00:02 From Canadian Urban Institute : COMING UP: Join us on Monday Sept 20 for the Art of City Building: Reinvention conference. For more information: @AoCB2021 And be sure to visit for more information on our sessions to come!
18:00:36 From Sho Isogai : A great presentation and panel discussion. Thank you for your talk & presentation! Very insightful. Keep well and be safe there.
18:00:40 From Marion Overholt : great session, so informative and inspirational, thanks so much
18:00:48 From Kelly Goz : excellent talk. thank you so much!
18:00:51 From Amber Crawford : Thank you so much for a great session. Very informative!
18:00:53 From Abby S She/her : Thank you all. This was amazing n! Thank you Mary.
18:01:02 From Jelena Payne : Wonderful. Thank you so much!!
18:01:07 From Nik Kinzel-Cadrin : Thank you all for the great session!
18:01:17 From Alyson King : Thank you for the great session.
18:01:18 From Philippe Reicher : Thank you for the session!
18:01:19 From Sarah King to Hosts and panelists : Thank you!
18:01:19 From Sho Isogai : and once again, well said and yes, you are very inspirational sector leader Rosanne!
18:01:23 From LoriAnn Girvan : Wonderful – thank you, all!
18:01:24 From Erin Black : Thank you all! Great session!
18:01:43 From Jeremy Lewis : 10/10 presentation and discussion, thanks everyone involved
18:01:43 From Andréa Calla : Mary, Rosanne, Fran, Mayor Dan & Jaime, thank you for your leadership an excellent discussion, a very informative session!
18:01:51 From David Harrison : Impressive, how do we access the recording so our contacts can be better informed?
18:01:57 From Dick Passmore : Thank you presenters!
18:02:10 From Erika Morton : Thank you guests, host and organizers!
18:02:10 From Emily Johnson : Thank you all, this was a wonderful discussion.
18:02:12 From Linda Wise to Hosts and panelists : Thank you for a very informative discussion.
18:02:47 From Noah Yauk : Great Job! Thanks for your insights!
18:03:06 From Angela Kiu : Thank you all for a fabulous presentation and discussion!!
18:03:11 From Amanda French : amazing!