Getting to Zero: Solving Homelessness

5 Key

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

1. Getting to Zero is not an aspiration but rather a method that has evolved over time

Rosanne Haggerty, President and Chief Executive Officer of Community Solutions started the lecture with a quote by W. Edwards Deming: “Every system is perfectly designed to achieve exactly the results it gets.” The recognition that homelessness is an urgent and solvable public health and racial equity challenge—rather than a technical problem (not enough housing units or program resources) was key in the evolution of their approach in getting to zero. Community Solutions determined that the whole community needed to be studied in order to measure what was happening and understand the existing systemic barriers in place and what the community’s needs were. There are five things every community needs:

  • A shared, measurable aim, which is the most critical thing for a community to see progress because they are committed to solving the same problem and holding each other accountable and measuring progress in the same way.
  • A nimble, integrated team of key agencies that are working on the issues
  • A real-time, by-name feedback loop
  • A flexible arsenal of resources
  • A testable menu of technical strategies

2. Solving homelessness is a data-driven process

Solving homelessness is a data driven practice that shows the comprehensive nature of the problem, accounts for everyone across the geography and requires you to test your way forward. There are key data points to track:

  • Inflow
    • Newly identified
    • Retuned from housing
    • Returned from inactive
  • Actively homeless outflow
    • Housing placements
    • Moved to inactive

This dynamic system allows communities to understand what is happening at the individual, program, and population-level, and make decisions about where resources need to be shifted or where policies need to be changed.  For example, in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the community is at functional zero for veterans and very close for chronic homelessness but saw a sudden increase in the homeless population. Once they dug into the data, they discovered that the problem could be traced back to one landlord. They were able to provide support for the landlord and got the numbers back down within a month. Without this real time data, we would have seen this increase a year later and would have made different assumptions about what had led to the increase in homelessness, and either over- or under-responded as a result.

3. The lived-experienced voice is the most important aspect

It is essential to include community members who are experiencing homelessness, hear their lived experiences and utilize their insight into what is and isn’t working in the current system. We should ask questions about the issues they are dealing with, who are they, where they have come from and how can we help them not only on the front end, but all the way through the process. People impacted by the decisions made need to be at the table to provide insight into how the services are serving them. It is everyone’s responsibility to make sure people have the supports they need to ensure that they are stable in the housing of their choosing. This process boils down to honouring people’s journey into homelessness and assisting them with their journey out of homelessness.

4. We need to build authentic relationships by strengthening Indigeneity

To effectively eliminate homelessness, the approach you take must be culturally specific and grounded in the values of the population you are focused on. In Victoria, the Indigenous population is only around 5%, however they make up approximately 33% of the people that are unhoused. A major milestone is Coordinated Access and Assessment (CAA), which committed 33% of all new supportive housing units to Indigenous Peoples. Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi, Director of Housing Development and Research at the Aboriginal Coalition to End Homelessness Society said, “we can’t continue to try to fit our circle into your square”. When asked what home was to them, it was rarely a house, typically it was their ancestral community; highlighting the critical importance of creating bridges into community.

5. Homelessness is a symptom of a broader problem

The reality of homelessness is that it is an upstream issue that needs to be addressed. Mayor Dan Carter highlighted the importance of not just thinking about the number of housing units that could be built, but rather the importance of getting to the root of the issue which is about inequity, poverty, addiction, and mental health. Jamie Rogers said “homelessness wouldn’t be an issue if the existing systems worked.” Agrees Rosanne Haggerty, “in some ways homelessness isn’t the problem, it’s the symptom of that problem, which is that our safety net is broken, and there’s this lack of accountability for what happens to vulnerable people in crisis.”

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.

Mary Rowe [00:01:05] Hi, everybody, great to see us back for another season to begin city talk. I’ve just got to say that we thought we always start these seasons thinking, oh, we’re going to be through, we’re going to be through it. And here we are. We are not through it. Covid is still with us. It is in varying degrees of expression across Canada and across the United States, affecting people’s lives and affecting people’s livelihoods. So I just want to once again acknowledge people who are on the front lines, who are doing their best to keep people safe and restore their health and all the other influences that are arriving at the same time, mental health challenges and climate challenges and poverty challenges and equity challenges that we’re all experiencing in this remarkable time that is affecting cities. It’s affecting people generally. But it’s our focus is on cities and the urban environments in which many of us, most of us in Canada, most of us live  and is so pivotal to the future of the country. Just by way of context, welcome to all our American and European participants who are on with us today. Rosanne’s is based in the United States but works globally. So we appreciate that people have tuned in from different parts of the world. We’re glad to have you. This is a global conversation. And Canada is in the throes not only of a fourth wave of Covid in varying degrees of severity, but also we’re in a federal election. A week from today, people will be casting votes, determining which party they’d like to see form the government. And so it’s a highly animated time, shall we say, here in Canada in the political discourse, even though we’ve just come off summer. And so all the more interesting moment for us to be having a conversation about solving homelessness and getting to zero. I just want to remind people that we are on a number of ancestral lands here and we always do some kind of a land acknowledgment. We’re trying to make these not so rote. And I would encourage all of our folks who are tuning in around North America to help us understand how you do this. Are there ways that you acknowledge the ancestral lands in which you operate? CUI is a national entity and increasingly has international colleagues? The experience of indigenous peoples varies, but the colonial legacy seems to be everywhere. And we just want to acknowledge that we are in that context struggling with what reconciliation really needs to look like and how do we actually advance and Indigenize cities and have opportunities for us to come to terms with the inequities, the legacies that are so baked into how we have planned and cities, how we built cities. And I’m sure that Rosanne will speak to this, because certainly in Canada, it’s an acute challenge for key components of the indigenous community, where homelessness meets the vulnerabilities that are experienced in those communities. So I just want to acknowledge that we are on unseeded territories of the Inuit, Metis and First Nations peoples of various lineages, and that we’re struggling with you to figure out how we best come to terms with these challenges that continue to live on and that aren’t going to be solved by a simple land acknowledgment at all. So I’m looking forward to our conversation when we finish with Rosanne and we have other participants, because I’m sure that the indigenous perspective will be front and center as we talk about that. As is always the case with CityTalk, we have the bios of everybody posted in the chat. And so that I don’t have to spend too much time telling you who these folks are. But you can see them. They’ve joined us live. We’re very appreciative of that. Fran and the Mayor and Jamie are going to pull their screens down while we listen to Rosanne. We’re very appreciative that Rosanne is taking the time under extraordinary circumstances, I must add, to give the second annual CUI leadership lecture. Last year, we had Dan Hill, who really pushed us to think about the city as a live organism and how does design and the way that we interact with all things that are in a city, how does that actually affect our day to day lives as city builders, in whatever jurisdiction and whatever discipline or perspective we have as a person, as a professional, as a decision-maker, whatever it is. And I hope I am not the only one to say that Dan’s words continued to resonate through the year. And if you haven’t seen Dan Hill’s lecture, we hope you’ll go back. Everything is there at So at 2:00 in the morning, when you’ve got nothing to do, there’s the perfect thing to do. Go back and look at some city talks and particularly look at Dan Hill’s because it was a really, really galvanizing lecture. And one of the things that’s important I think about these sessions is they do stand the test of time. We’re talking about big issues that don’t get fixed overnight, and it needs a lot of steady fidelity to what the goals are and how we work collaboratively together. So, Rosanne, not to put too much pressure on you, but just so you know, Dan was great and we know you will be, too. Many of you are familiar with Rosanne’s history, as I suggest, go look on the chat, my colleagues will have put it in there. There are going to be many folks here that are familiar with the work of initially Common Ground and then Community Solutions. Rosanne and I got to know each other when I was living and working in the U.S. and we’ve had many, many conversations in many, many different cities about the seeming intractability and persistence of this manifestation of disconnection, of what homelessness is. And so we are really delighted to welcome you to the CUI leadership lecture stage. And I would encourage people just know we have closed captioning on. And I appreciate people are shrugging and telling us where you’re coming in from. That’s always great, particularly for the panel members to see where everybody’s coming in from. We have a very active chat community in CityTalk and they feel free to raise the issues that they want to raise and duke it out on the chat. And sometimes the panelists weigh in, but sometimes they don’t need to because they solve it themselves over there in the chat. Just keep in mind, we record these sessions, we post them, we post the chat. So what you put in the chat will be there for posterity. Just keep that in mind. Always encouraging of civil discourse. Lots of candid conversation is what this is about. But be respectful of each other’s differences if we can manage that at a particularly difficult time for some people, I appreciate it. So without further ado, I’m going to ask others to just pull their cameras down. If you want to get rid of closed captioning, just turn it off because it can drive you crazy. But if you’d like to have it, keep it on. And Rosanne, the stage is yours to talk to the CityTalk gang about getting to zero and solving homelessness. Thanks so much for joining us.


Rosanne Haggerty [00:07:45] Mary, thank you and thanks for the invitation to join you, and I’m excited to engage in the post discussion, conversation with the mayor and with Fran and the audience. I’m joining you from Concord, New Hampshire. The Penacook People occupied this land first, and I’m here really to share with you about why, after many years working on the issue of homelessness and in fact, I see from some of the names with many of you, I feel and my colleagues do, that we are in a more hopeful and optimistic place in terms of finally understanding the kind of problem homelessness is after many, many years. And what I hope will be the case by the time we leave this conversation is that you, as do we, feel that homelessness is an urgent and solvable public health and racial equity challenge, and that framing actually gives you a different lens and a new source of energy and a sense of the tools in the ways the communities need to organize themselves to actually make reaching what we call functional zero, something that is not just an aspiration, but is actually happening in even more places now as it’s already happening in several in the United States and Canada. And so to begin with, I’m going to really frame this talk in a series of questions, questions that we asked ourselves over the years. And as I mentioned, we’ve been at this a long time and it really has been a shift from asking what to do next to help individuals experiencing homelessness to a different question, which is how is it that we make all of our efforts add up to the result we want, which is fewer households experiencing homelessness and looking at the whole of our efforts and really taking a population health view of the issue that has really shifted our work in a way that is measurably promising and delivering extraordinary results after many years of asking different questions. So I’m going to lead you through the questions that we’ve asked along the way. And Dhaneva, could you start with the slides, please? So the title of the talk is getting to zero again, it’s not about aspiration, but it’s about sharing with you a method that has evolved. It’s really been created by now. Eighty-nine communities in the United States, which would be a city, a county or region, plus over 30 in Canada who have partnered to as a group, learn our way forward into what it’s going to take to get to a state where homelessness is measurably rare overall and brief when it occurs. And I’d say the first insight that really we grabbed when we started asking ourselves that bigger question about how was it that all of our efforts could add up to something that was closer to what we wanted, rather than good programs, actually instead an end to homelessness. Dhaneva, next slide. We started really pondering this quote that has been a bit of a North star for us ever since. But just how was it that we were getting the results we were getting in the system that we had essentially created together, although I think probably in any community in Canada as well as in the United States, this would be the set of characteristics of our efforts. A number of very high-quality programs usually committed people working in the sector, but year after year, very little evidence of progress being made. And usually the default position would be, well, we need new sources. But in fact, once we started thinking about what if we looked at this as a system of behavior, what are we doing to get the results we’re getting? We went back to one of the insights of Jane Jacobs, of course, which is if you put more resources into a broken system, you make the problem worse. And so we started with the sense of let’s look at the system of what we’re doing individually or failing to do collectively, that is not adding up to the result we want, which is fewer people experiencing homelessness. And to begin with, we had to reflect on our own journey and kind of move ourselves forward. And even the next slide, please. Go back one, please. Hmm, OK, well, if it hasn’t loaded here, but I’ll have to describe it for you. Back in the day, like many of you, my colleagues and I, we started off volunteering for shelters or working at shelters or in programs, had the same experience that I’m sure all of you have had, which is just wring our hands about how do we do something that is more substantive in terms of a real solution for people? My personal answer was to start thinking about how to build more affordable and supportive housing. And so the first organization I founded and many of our Community Solutions team worked together there, focused on building housing and we built a lot of it. And the slide you’re not seeing as an array of photos of some of our many buildings in and around New York City. We built about three thousand units of affordable and supportive housing. And it was an incredible life changing intervention for those fortunate enough to move in. And one would think all would be good. We and others in New York were building more supportive housing. The city was putting more money aside for supportive housing, but at the same time, homelessness was increasing and it was up more and more inescapable that our solution, which we were happy and excited to share and promote, was really not a solution that was reaching by any means all of those who needed it. And in fact, most troubling, it seemed not to be reaching those for whom we had most clearly been thinking about when we started building our buildings, which is people living on the streets for long periods of time, years, in fact, in the very neighborhoods surrounding the buildings that we were acquiring and refurbishing. So a new question bubbled up. And it was one of those situations where we resisted it at first because we were so convinced that the real point of it all was we, we and others were running good programs. We just needed more of them. But looking at the fact that there are individuals who weren’t getting close to the programs, the stories we were telling without actually even speaking to those individuals about why this was the case, why they were still on the street while we were expanding good programs, finally, really sort of the logic of that fell apart not only by getting out on the street and talking to people who had been living in again, these are the blocks around our buildings, sometimes for years that we came to understand that no one was in charge of actually seeing that all of the different elements of our ever expanding system in New York, the outreach teams, the shelters, the housing, the services, it was no one’s job to put it all together, add it up and make sure that the assistance needed was reaching every person who needed it at the right time and in the most effective way, something that seems so obvious. But just as a community of people doing this work, we had never actually reflected on what the fact that we were doing the work separately meant for people who are vulnerable and struggling on the street. And that led us to ask a different set of questions, which is what if we were to ask people experiencing homelessness what they need rather than offer what we had? And what if we could actually invite many of the organizations? And initially it was just those working in this one neighborhood in New York to come together to actually try to make the process seamless for people who are experiencing homelessness. And could we collectively reduce street homelessness? And in just our neighborhood, Albeit Times Square, by two thirds in three years. And this is what we did. Next slide, please. We all got together and mapped out what it took for each of us to with our own internal rules and their contract requirements and where we had to get sign off from the city or other agencies, what it would take to get even one individual who we would know in common on the streets in our neighborhood into a stable home. And we realized it was this lethal game of Chutes and Ladders. There are people who had to connect with each other, make approval’s eligibility criteria. People even forgot why certain rules that existed, but we were carrying them forward. Lots of assumptions about people’s preferences that had been unvetted by people actually experiencing homelessness at these sessions. And we started doing this not just in our own neighborhood, but ultimately in different cities. Actually, we would always include people experiencing homelessness as as as a reality check, like we’d have our like our neat plans about how something is supposed to happen and who’s supposed to be qualified for and approved by whatever people experiencing homelessness. So actually, that’s not how it works. Like I’ve been waiting 14 months for that bit of news. And so it was this reckoning that we’ve been asking the wrong questions. We’ve been basically looking at our program rules and competing for program resources and never asked people experiencing homelessness. What a system that would prevent them from becoming homeless more quickly, address their system and the help they needed to get out of homelessness. And so this insight really vaulted us from the world of being housers well and understanding certainly that more and more high-quality housing is an essential ingredient in ending homelessness, to realizing that the system, as we were starting to try to piece it together, to visualize it, to have shared awareness of what our collective efforts look like and what a train wreck they were, that this actually was going to be the work of our organization going forward, that by helping communities try to untangle this mess and create accountability for a seamless system that prevented homelessness and helped people quickly out of it back into housing. But as we thought about how to actually make the move to how do you help groups of people work differently together, another kind of awareness and question was beginning to rise, which is like what kind of problem is homelessness? That that we had all of these very good programs and all of these technical solutions lined up. And yet they weren’t actually connecting. They weren’t reaching the people who needed them in a timely way. And so we started reflecting at that point on a new set of questions, which is in what field and in what space in society do people actually collaborate and work toward a goal of solving a problem for everyone all the way through to zero, as opposed to making incremental progress or to simply looking to additional resources to somehow paper over the fact that there are fundamental breakdowns in the system. And the sort of questions about where could we find models for solving problems all the way through, really directed us to the world of global health and some of the extraordinary victories in the last 50 years, the eradication of smallpox and through that effort, the distillation of a process that has gone on to drive reductions and moves towards zero and disease eradication elimination in many different areas and as well has been employed some of these practices to reduce traffic fatalities, to reduce drowning deaths. And next slide, please. And so with this set of insights around what kind of problem is homelessness and did it actually mirror more of a public health problem? We started learning very actively from the world of global health. And what you’re looking at here is a group of community health workers and foundation leaders and WHO representatives and health ministers from Nigeria. This is pre pandemic, but working on getting the last mile of polio eradication work done in Nigeria. And what is striking about this photograph is, frankly, this is what we’ve learned that ending homelessness sort of needs to look like that. Everybody from the front facing worker interacting with the person on the ground who is suffering the problem to the policymakers. They actually have to be solving the same problem. They need to have a rigorous commitment to a shared aim. They need to have the data that’s required to understand how that problem is moving and changing and evolving as interventions are made. And they need to be working in a framework of iterative problem-solving, not from rigid plans or from some ideologically driven playbook, but really in response to what the data in that place in real-time is telling them is the is that is the manifestation of the problem and what the data is revealing about the most powerful potential places of intervention. And so with this, the questions actually have quite profoundly shifted. And if you could go to the next slide, Community Solutions and we’ve been in an existence we spun off from our first organization 10 years ago, really to pull this thread to learn how to help communities put together their resources so that they all add up to what we call functional zero homelessness, where homelessness is measurably, rather quickly flagged when it occurs and properly and rapidly resolved. And that that is we now see a standard that more and more communities are meeting. And it’s our goal over the next five years to get to a critical mass of communities in the United States to achieve functional zero for one or more or even all populations of those experiencing homelessness. But at the heart of this shift is really recognizing that homelessness is a different kind of problem than the one that I certainly thought it was when I started doing this work many years ago, that it’s not a technical problem of just enough housing units or enough program resources. It’s a complex systems problem. And that requires communities to be organized to actually be solving this problem every day with deep collaboration around a shared aim and the right information about how the problem is moving and changing, what interventions are needed and how to keep moving upstream to prevent more and more of the experience of homelessness in the community. And that while housing is vitally important, it’s an input. It is not the solution in and of itself that this accountability system, this operating system, that drives to zero plus housing has proven to be the thing. So what you’re seeing here is what we adopted to enable our work to kind of move into this space of iterative problem solving and helping community teams learn how to stay ahead of a complex shifting problem such as homelessness is we adopted the work that had actually begun in manufacturing with Edwards Deming, the author of that quote about systems being perfectly built to achieve the end they achieve. And his work began in manufacturing and improving quality of cars. Actually, that work was migrated into health care and into other spaces. And we have adapted it to apply to homelessness and have trained communities throughout the United States and in partnership with Built for Zero Canada, part of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. Many Canadian communities are learning to work this way. But it really is a very liberating practice, very data driven practice around pulling all of the inputs and realities of homelessness in a community together, having clear data that shows the comprehensive nature of the problem that accounts for everyone across the geography and of testing your way forward, basically saying like what would represent an improvement against this goal of getting to functional zero and rather than battling ideologies or sticking with an evidence based practice, which may be wonderful in the right context, but not at all kind of called for in this particular moment to enable communities to learn to work in this iterative, very disciplined way and the next slide, please. Part of what makes this new approach that is so rooted in public health work is finally understanding what kind of information communities need to have about those who are experiencing homelessness in their community. We could tell you so many sad stories about the attempts we made just using estimated data, the annual point in time count to try to get a handle with communities on what was working and what wasn’t. And it was only when we got to the point with communities doing this, this really hard work of really accounting for everyone to a 90 percent degree of certainty. And we have this way of with community balancing data month over month where you could know that you’re actually looking at an almost perfectly accurate picture of what’s happening in real time. Most communities can update their data weekly, if not daily, but at least monthly is the minimum criteria for getting onto this course of being able to understand and drive reductions in homelessness, because you need to be looking as a group, as a whole community of actors who need to collaborate in new ways. You need to be seeing reality in the same way and to see every week who’s new into homelessness, what happened that ask different questions of those individuals and families, what happened and what can we address upstream so we don’t see more of this crisis happening? Who’s returning to homelessness after being assisted? Because that’s a different sort of challenges. And how do you see that people have the right supports next time. Who’s come back onto the radar screen after being assisted in the past? Because many of the most common ways people escape homelessness is as an attempt to resolve it themselves. There’s so much more we need to learn about how we can support those efforts for individuals and families who are just in a situation where they are trying to resolve it with more support, we can be more helpful and more effective and then we need to be looking in that kind of very real time way at outflow who’s actually been assisted into housing and who has gone off the radar screen after a period, usually about 90 days, because we don’t want to hold resources for folks who resolve the situation that they’re in. But we also don’t want to lose them in the system if that effort to resolve the situation falls apart. And this dynamic system allows communities to both understand the individual nature of the problem and for programs to be more effective in following up with individuals. But it also allows the whole community to see what is happening at a population level and to be making decisions for the benefit of the community about where resources need to be shifted or where policies need to be changed. And so next slide, please. And so in asking ourselves this question about at what level do you need to be studying what’s happening, we realized with our community partners that it had to be both programs needed help in improving their performance, but the whole community needed help in a way of measuring whether, as a team, their performance was moving their community closer to zero homelessness. And so it’s been fascinating to see the power of these data analytic tools. Frankly, a dimension of the work that years ago I would never have imagined could prove to be the linchpin for being able to help communities actually see where they are in the progress of moving toward functional zero homelessness and make smart decisions and hold a collective together. What you’re seeing now is a slide showing Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida. And you can imagine, even without spending a whole lot of time on this slide, that it tells you where to ask better questions like what happened when there’s an uptick, what happened to help the community go on that very rapid decline. This is a mechanism for this kind of collective shared data for understanding in close to real time what’s working to do more of that, to know when to change it up, not to get to the end of a grant period and say we did our best when in fact, you know, communities are learning that they need to be iterating every week in order to keep driving reductions and to stay ahead of new inflow and changes in the environment. Let’s go to the next slide, please. And so a question we had to ask ourselves, too, was once we started discovering what was going to make a big difference for communities and in reducing homelessness was what kind of organization did we need to be in when one of the things that we’ve evolved into and Built for Zero Canada as part of the Canadian Alliance is in a very similar role now, is something that the Stanford Social Innovation Review is called a field catalyst, an organization that’s really a kind of a backbone of many organizations on a similar journey, pursuing and measuring progress in the same way, taking on together some of the learning and the policy challenges, sharing what’s working and using the power of a network to accelerate change. We have an aspiration now to move to no more than about one hundred and ten communities by next spring and by twenty twenty-six to see that seventy five of our communities are at functional zero for veteran, chronic and or all homeless by that time. And we are seeing enormous progress even despite Covid. And in fact, in a strange way, I think the experience of Covid has awakened most communities to the need for collaborative action, accurate data and iterative response to complex problems that where the facts move and change and static responses are not just inadequate, but in fact they can be life threatening that you need to keep up your response and develop your community’s muscle for real time, problem solving, and for facing into the data. And so Community Solutions has now been committed for several years to not just helping communities get to functional zero and to continue to acquire and refine the tools and the practice to help communities to do this, but also to introduce and something that is only possible with accurate real time data, introduce a racial equity framework into this work. We’ve known for too long that in the United States and elsewhere, people of color, especially in the United States, black and Native Americans are vastly, disproportionately overrepresented in homelessness. But if you’re not collecting accurate data, that experience is masked. Whether people are moving through the process of getting assistance and getting the same quality of assistance, regardless of race that is masked, if you don’t have good data and an honest commitment to an equitable system. And so our work is very much about bringing this structure and this framework into community with a racial equity lens. And so let’s go to the next slide, please. And so in some ways, it’s weird for someone who began as a housing person to and spent years focusing on just building housing to realize that what we’ve learned is that what gets communities to sustainable reductions and an end state to homelessness certainly is about new housing. But it’s not the biggest input, the most critical thing we’ve learned is that of the five things that communities who are really seeing progress, the most critical thing that communities need to start with is that shared, measurable aim you need to have around the same table, really committed to solving the same problem and holding each other accountable. The coalition of not for profits that’s receiving funding in our case in the states from the Department of Housing and Urban Development for homeless service, they need to be there. The city or county executive needs to be there depending on the most relevant unit of geography. The housing authority, whoever controls the housing subsidies that come from the government and our Department of Veterans Affairs. If that group agrees that they’re solving the same problem and measuring progress in the same way and hold each other accountable, you are going to see progress. If that group is not unified, it’s pretty hard. You have resources, effort going in multiple directions. And those who are hurt by that are people experiencing homelessness. And so this shift represents a real and in some ways a radical move away from program to system to thinking in terms of the good of the community and the results for all, as opposed to, you know, the the the the success of my program only. But we have now eighty-nine communities in this country who have made that leap and are really embracing the population level needs that this issue is going to require, and put those needs ahead of their own program goals. And so the shared aim, it’s the starting point, the nimble integrated team of all of the key agencies that are working on the issue, the by name, real time feedback loop that drives the whole mechanism and then the flexible arsenal of resources into which I put housing and then the testable menu of strategies represents I think we now have over two hundred mini case studies from our Built for Zero communities of ideas communities have tested that have been more or less successful in solving common problems like getting private sector landlords involved or using certain resources and making them more flexible and different kinds of housing arrangements. And so here’s what we’ve learned. We’re excited to be working with the amazing Built for Zero Canada team and also teams in Australia and soon in the UK and Denmark and the learning and the right question all of these years to be about like what would it take to make sure all of our resources added up to the result we want, which is fewer people experiencing homelessness. And with that, I’ll just go to the next slide and share with you where we are as of right now. Eighty-nine communities participating in Built for Geraldo. About another 11 are joining this fall. We have 14 communities that have ended chronic and or veteran homelessness, another 40 for achieving measurable reductions and well on their way to functional zero for chronic or veteran homelessness. We probably will have the first two communities within the next 20 months. You’ve just gotten to zero for all, so an incredible milestone that is well within the grasp of communities in the US and well, we know it comes down to lives changed and almost more than one hundred and thirty-four thousand individuals housed. But what we really always pay attention to is how the community is doing, because that actually will dictate and the community system, whether individuals in the future are prevented from becoming homeless and are quickly assisted, so we tend not to get fixated on individual results. Vital though they are, because what’s going to actually make this work is communities stepping up and acting in a way that preserves population level housing security. So thank you very much.


Mary Rowe [00:38:34] Fantastic, thanks, Rosanne. Wonderful. We’re just catching up here, trying to keep up with all the notes that people were taking, and I appreciate people putting into the chat their own questions and that they might want to raise with Rosanne. I’m going to ask the panel members to throw their cameras on it, just to clear a thing for everyone to be reassured about, we will share, as I said, the presentation itself gets shared, the slides get shared, this conversation gets shared. So if you’re panicking, thinking, shoot I really wanted to see that second slide again, you will. That slide is in your future, just while we’re getting ready to have the others join in. Rosanne, a couple of things. I’m really interested. I love to see somebody else quoting Edward Deming, just saying and I don’t know if anybody wants to put in the chat if you’re a fellow Deming fan kind of complexity science guy known in physics world and stuff like that. So I was really pleased to see you do that. And it reminds me to go back and have a good look at some of his stuff. Thanks for doing that. This notion, though, of iteration and I’m interested about how do we iterate? And I’m going to go first to Jamie because Jamie is working in municipal government and she’s going to talk to us about what Medicine Hat’s experience has been. But I have this gut instinct that iteration is tough working in municipal governments because they’re rigid and they’ve got their departments and whatnot. So I’ll ask Rosanne to comment on that. We have a lot of municipal people on the chat and in the audience, and they’re all dying to know how do they become iterators. So I’ll go first to Rosanne just to quickly comment on that. And then, Jamie, I’d like to hear from you. If you could give us start us off with a perspective from Medicine Hat and from municipal government experience. So you first Rosanne.


Rosanne Haggerty [00:40:14] I think what we found and this is going to be true anywhere where you’re effectively managing a complex problem is that you have to be really tight on the aim and loose on the means. And I think that having measures and very clear goals, easy for me to say. I don’t work in government, but we have government partners all over the country who have essentially been able to step into this new way of working. But, you know, what constitutes progress is clear. There is a very clear set of activities around a quality improvement cycle. So it’s not just that we’re going to throw things against the wall. It’s like, what are we going to test for the next 30 or 60 days? How will we know what progress looks like? How do we know? What’s the data telling us? So it’s both. It’s very freeing, but it is very disciplined. And so that combination seems to have enabled not just government employees in the different communities that are part of the program to fully participate. But we hear over and over again that folks say this is the way we need to be working a whole lot of other problems, not just homelessness, this having the freedom to test things and to just learn our way forward as opposed to debate the best idea when, frankly, how to solve some of these problems. They’re unknown and you have to just enter into them with a clear sense of what progress looks like and try things and then improve on what you’ve tried. And that seems to be. On the part of a number of government workers, something that they have been hungry for, like a mechanism and a set of skills to use to deal with problems that they know are not technical problems, that they haven’t perhaps had a language or tools to approach them effectively in the past.


Mary Rowe [00:42:16] Right, right. Well, Jamie’s pointing out that she’s actually with a broader coalition, the Medicine Hat Housing Society. So what she’s saying is, well, what about the mayor? So, Dan, we want to put you on the spot then, I guess, because I am interested if we could start there in terms of how do we actually work with our partners who are employed in the municipal governments around the country? How do we engage them? You’re actually a political leader in that environment, but you have a colleague, a city manager, and you have a, you know, several hundred or thousand people in your workforce. So maybe give us a little picture of the Oshawa picture, if you could, in your own perspective on this and how you’ve approached it in terms of motivating municipal employees. And then I’m going to go to you, Jamie. So we’ll start with the mayor. So, Dan, over to you and then feel free to direct any questions to Rosanne. She’s there to respond as well.


Dan Carter [00:43:04] First of all, Mary, I wish you would come out of your shell. That’s the first thing I wish you would do. I love the energy and I love the ideas. I love the conversation. You know, one of the biggest issues, especially in our circumstances, we’re lower tier. So our responsibilities don’t include social service, health, housing, policing, those kind of things. So the frustration even grows even larger because on the front line, we as a local municipality are dealing with, you know, three hundred individuals that are on our streets. We’re used to a capacity of about 40 to 60 individuals throughout Covid, throughout the last 20 months, we’ve seen that population grow to about 300. So engaging and recognizing that we do have a serious problem was one of our biggest issues that we have to deal with right away, which was getting regional government to be able to say, oh, my goodness, we’ve got a problem. A big part of the approach that I’ve always tried to look at is don’t look at the end solution of housing or anything else, but look people central. So I always kind of look at it as people central. The issue being is, of course, not our circumstance. We could have three hundred individual people, but it’s the approach that I look at who are they, where they come from, what are the issues that they’re dealing with? How do we help them at this particular moment on the front end? But then how do we help them get through the process all the way through? Collaborating with other organizations and agencies has been a difficulty and again, is trying to get people to actually be able to come together, to be able to solve a common issue in our community is still a struggle as we speak here. And it’s part of our struggle because we have silos that are trying to protect what they do. We have individuals that want to do the right thing and that are very generous and kind and really go out there and do all the great things. The issue being is, as a good friend of mine used to say, is don’t wait around for the applause. And we have a lot of people that want to wait around for the applause. So we’re trying to open up the discussion with the groups to be able to very much look like the polio discussion, get them around a table, talk about how we can all do our part to be able to invest in individuals. Part of my roles and responsibility is the regional nonprofit housing. And one of the things that I say to our staff is how do we invest in our people so that we can lift them up, break the cycle of supportive housing and how do we make sure we support that individual all the way through? Because to Rosanne’s part, the interesting part is it is an upstream issue. What are all those issues that got the individual to where they are today? In my circumstance, because I come from addiction and mental health and homelessness myself, it wasn’t the addiction, it was the issues in my life that I utilized addiction as a coping mechanism that then had the effects of homelessness and in my circumstance, to be able to provide for myself criminality, to be able to to go down that path. So understanding that this is people central is really important to me. And I think it’s one of the ways. But, Mary, to be honest, I’m frustrated still to try and get everybody to coordinate, work together and share their ideas and understand that we need to work together, because if we’re going to continue to work in silos and not coming together, then then we’re just going to be chasing our tail. I hope that helped.


Mary Rowe [00:46:37] Yeah. Yeah. Well, it was the other one of those other points you made, Rosanne, was this idea that we were supposed to you had a phrase that we’re supposed to be creating a by name feedback loop. I really and that’s just what Dan has just reinforced. This is about individuals, people. And we get mired in this. So we’ve got 22 here or 27 there, or maybe we don’t know what we have, but we forget that the people we I would say that it’s CUI that’s an important learning for us through covid is that every situation is particular. Every situation is individual, not just in terms of homelessness, but Main Street recovery or adequate kinds of provisions of public amenities. It’s all about people. So I appreciate what you just said. Let’s talk. Can I go ahead Mayor and then I’m going to go to Jamie.


Dan Carter [00:47:24] I was just going to say this, this is a real pivotal time. These 20 months has really taken something that we all have understood has been there this 20 months has put it front and center. And here in Canada, what I’ve been asking our federal partners to do is not have it as a byline, but a centerpiece of what they’re talking about, because this goes to the core values of our country. It goes to the core values of what’s important. It also goes to the core health and well-being of our communities. So if we don’t have that as a centerpiece of policy moving forward, it’s not going to get where it needs to be. We can no longer ignore it Mary, it is in front and center. And I’m hoping that we don’t miss this opportunity.


Mary Rowe [00:48:08] And as you say, it’s a whole person approach. Jamie, now I’m going to come to you to talk about what that approach has been in Medicine Hat that’s allowed you to get the results that you have. And then I’ll follow then with Fran who’s going to talk, I’m hoping about people and the people in her particular community. Go ahead, Jamie, over to you.


Jamie Rogers [00:48:23] Thank you so much, Mary. And greetings from Treaty 7 and neighbour to Treaty 4 for and homeland of the Metis Nation Peoples Within Region III, in Medicine Hat, I can speak a little bit around our municipal government right now. For 10 years that I’ve been here in Medicine Hat, we have worked very collaboratively with our city. Even though we are outside a municipality, the city does not invest persay in terms of financial resources in our efforts to end homelessness and funding mostly comes through our provincial government, the Government of Alberta, as well as through federal dollars, through the reaching home dollars that many of you receive throughout Canada as well. That being said, we also know that the financial investment, sometimes those resources around zoning, bylaws, planning and development and really just not blocking the great work that goes on is actually some of the wind in our relationships with our municipal government. We have a mayor and council that is very, very supportive of the work that we do as a community and that they support those efforts a little bit differently. I’d have to say during covid in the last three months has been the only bump in the road that we have experienced. But we like to liken that to the exhaustion of everyone involved in around those other maybe behaviors that come out when people are under stress or so really commend or municipal government here. When we talk about homelessness, I think it’s really important that we talk about families just as a community issue, not what level of government is responsible. And that might sound at odds with some other people about the funding and investments. It’s our neighbours that are homeless, and we always like to say that people should not be defined, they’re defining attribute, should not be their housing status. And it’s everyone’s responsibility to don’t care what level of government or where you come from to ensure that everyone has a safe place to reside in, that they are supported and have the supports that they need to ensure that they are stable in the housing of their choosing and how they can conduct themselves in their lives. So I would say in Medicine Hat, some of our keys to successes was our strong partnerships. And they’re not just financial partnerships, folks. It’s around having very difficult and disruptive conversations and coming back to the table the next day and engaging in that. We use real time quality data so our data is not off. We use it. Our data changes daily. We are always looking at our data. People will say, well, it wasn’t like that last year, Well I sure as heck hope not. We should have dynamic systems, not static systems of care. And by far, the most important thing is the lived experience voice. Those that are actually impacted by the decisions that we make in the systems that we create need to be at the table giving input and insight into how those services are actually serving them. More times than not, we have altered our systems because of what individuals are saying that are actually using those services. And here’s the interesting thing. When we listen differently, we got it right a lot of the time to actually meet that level of need. You’ll hear us talk a lot about systems impact and improvement. So really, everything that Rosanne was saying as well Mayor Carter, and I’m sure what Fran will be saying as well. Of course, we’re in alignment with that and really looking at the not just programmatic outcomes, but the impact of system level change in outcomes so that we can really serve the greater good and ensure that we have a community of care that effectively and responsively can really meet the needs of every individual within our community that is experiencing homelessness currently or that may enter into that state of homelessness.


Mary Rowe [00:52:03] Thanks, Jamie. Can I ask a question of Rosanne in terms of scale? The mayor touched on that and Jamie just did, too. And somebody is asking about it in the chat about how many actual municipalities. So what do you do when it’s a regional challenge, Rosanne? And so it may be for instance, we have lots of metropolitan senators who are on this call here. And some of them would say we’re getting homeless coming from all across the country. Victoria would be our experience of that in Canada. Los Angeles has it in the United States and San Francisco. How do we get a regional approach? Have you tackled that? And it’s part of what Jamie just touched on in terms of Medicine Hat, go ahead.


Rosanne Haggerty [00:52:43] Yes and no. And it’s a peculiarity of the way the system is set up in the United States. HUD has our federal Department of Housing and Urban Development some twenty-five years ago, asked cities or regions to form themselves into a continuum of care bodies. Really, they were never given the job of ending homelessness only if applying for and distributing HUD resources in that area. So you have like cities that are a continuum of care. You have almost entire states that are a continuum of care. You have metropolitan regions that are a single continuum of care. You have one county in a metropolitan region that’s a continuum of care. So within our eighty nine, we do have clusters that are regional and then we have some standalone city COC’s. It’s certainly smarter to have that, like whatever the natural geography as a county is, is probably the ideal way to in United States terms to tackle this. Although you have regions like Boston and the Bay Area in San Francisco that have many different COCs and the fact that they don’t collaborate is part of the problem.


Mary Rowe [00:54:05] I think the point that Dan was making, which is kind of the reality of the mixed up-ness of Canada, is that, you know, sometimes we have another level, sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we have and it really varies. And that’s affected us during Covid because public health is funded differently across the country. It’s communicated differently. The data is collected differently. And I guess what I’m fearful of is I don’t want that to turn into another excuse that we all have. Well, and, you know, somebody said in the chat, the problem is nobody feels responsible for this. Right. And I just kind of headbanging, isn’t it?


Rosanne Haggerty [00:54:38] Although I will say that the fact that all of these communities in the United States, in these areas in Canada are making progress, nevertheless, you know, it’s a lot harder than it needs to be that these are communities are doing workarounds because the natural boundaries aren’t clear, accountability isn’t clear. The data collection mechanisms are different. And it just it makes you it makes you appreciate that if communities like Jaimie’s are making progress up against that, what could be possible if we got our act together and just kind of set up the right accountability structures, the right governance and establish the right data standards?


Mary Rowe [00:55:18] And that was kind of Jamie’s point, that she wasn’t you know, what she wants is the obstacles removed. If we could just get some if we could just get us to. Yes. You know, I feel like you’re in Covid. We have a lot greater latitude to just do what needed to be done. I didn’t feel like anybody was when you were dealing with a crisis, there wasn’t a lot of time spent by anybody saying, oh, wait a sec, that’s not really my jurisdiction. Like, we just got it done right. So I worry a little bit that we’ll lose the urgency and we’ll go back into this kind of no, no, no, that’s not mine. Anyway, Fran, talk to us about your experience in Victoria and how you’ve been tackling it.


Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi [00:55:56] Yeah, thank you, coming in to you today from beautiful Victoria, and we do much of our work on the Lekwungen speaking People’s territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees. I’m coming to you today from East Sooke, traditional territory of the Beecher Bay. Where to start? Well, I guess first off, we’re a relatively new organization, we became a nonprofit society in 2016 at that time, I was brought into it just for a short term contract to help the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, engage with the First Nations leaders because there were seats at the table, the mayor’s table for the homelessness committees and and jump forward a bit. And our mayor, Mayor Lisa, helped created what was called the mayor’s priority one task force. And that task force identified seventy-four people in the city that were at the highest risk, most vulnerable. That’s when I was invited to the table and asked if I could help 20 of those seventy-four that self identified as Indigenous. And I basically said, OK, well, we’ll get involved, but we need to do it our way. We cannot continue to try to fit our circle into your square. You’ve tried it. Let us identify the problems and the solutions and give us that latitude in space. And I think that really was our first step and the first milestone by bringing elders knowledge keepers from across the island and talking about individuals and talking about what is needed, we really drilled down to the physical, mental, emotional and the often left component of a person is the spiritual. So what are we doing in that context? Because housing is just the physical structure. So I also want to premise by saying that the people that we serve are your most vulnerable and highest risk. So addictions, mental health in and out of corrections, a whole myriad of things that I’m sure you all know. So we don’t work in low income housing or family housing. It is that that target audience. So when we approached our work, we really did approach it first and foremost, how do we strengthen indigeneity? Because we heard over and over again the sense of disconnection. Those pathways into being unhoused really had to do with residential school, Sixties Scoop’s and all the things that we know about. So we knew all the kind of deficits. But what we didn’t really articulate was what they needed and wanted from their perspective. So we spent one year and just helped focus groups and asked three simple questions. Where do you want to be in three years? What barriers might come up to prevent you from getting to where you want to be in three years? And what will support you to where you want to be in three years? And so that set our foundation. That was our data base gathering. And my board, in their wisdom, took those barriers and those solutions and supports into my job description. Go and chip away at those barriers, get them what they need. Let’s get started. So every step of the way has been through Circle’s focus group surveys and asking them, the street community, the Indigenous Street community has identified, we haven’t identified what is needed next and those shift depending on the populations that are unhoused. One of the questions we also asked was, so what does home mean to you? Rarely was at their house, home was their ancestral community, which spoke even more broadly to the need for us to create those bridges into community to build Indigeneity. So what I did is created something called a dual model of housing care. From that dual model, we provide pathways to healing and recovery, deeply rooted and entrenched in land-based healing. So when we’re looking from an Indigenous perspective, our approach to harm reduction, it is not safe injection sites, although of course there’s that as well. It’s berry picking. Picking traditional foods, plants and medicines, cedar bark, stripping, learning songs, drumming, having the elder in residence. And so we’ve created a model that is showing absolute signs of leading practice. Why? How are we measuring that? These are individuals that we have been told and this is not my language, but when I first started this work, I would hear people use this language drove me crazy. They referred to the hardest to house, which I thought was absurd because that’s putting the spotlight on the people like they’re the hardest, but really flashed that flashlight back at ourselves. And we’re obviously not creating those systems or structures to be supportive. But the people that we’re working with not only are staying housed, being reconnected to the culture, we’re now Indigenizing detox. We’re now helping people on to treatment through the land-based healing. We’ve had moments of transformation, epiphany to where people get trajectories that are on the right track, and that didn’t happen at some mental health office, that didn’t happen with the outreach worker, it happens sitting by the river. It happened out on the land, around the fire and a reconnection to their spirit and to who they are. So the model we’re creating, although everything resonated, whether it was Jamie or Rosanne. But you know, we have to remember that especially here in Victoria, the indigenous population is only around five percent. And yet we make up 33 percent of the people that are on housed. One of the best steps and collaborative work is that we now have an agreement around our CAA table that 33 percent of all new supportive housing will go to our organization to be able to identify Indigenous people. And that didn’t happen overnight. You know, I would say, well, why do we have these point in time counts? We’re finding out we’re 32 percent, thirty-two point seven of this population. That should be our benchmark. That needs to be what we’re striving for. If we are 33 percent, darn it, then we should have thirty three percent of those units. And that’s the way we’ve worked. We’ve had some bumps along the way. But very, very much a tight group with a shared agenda, good synergies and now we’re all moving forward in the right direction. But we have been left with the room to be who we are and to create culturally supportive housing when we now hear B.C. housing, not saying supportive housing or low barrier, but saying, Fran, can you open a culturally supportive emergency shelter? You know, then we know that we’re starting to make a difference and we’re changing the language.


Mary Rowe [01:04:04] Thanks, Fran. You know, you’re all saying versions of the same thing, which is that this needs to start with the person and grounded with what the person needs. You know, I feel like the tech sector kind of figured this out with user based everything. Whatever the language is, every designer is going to tell me what the proper language is on the chat. But here we are finally saying, oh, we need to focus from the person and build from the person out. I feel like we need a new term for city builder. OK, folks, let’s figure that out. Like city carer or city minder or something that makes us step back and say what are the conditions we need to be fostering so that people can find their way as people. Right. I’m so appreciative of the different models you’re bringing. And we’ve got various people in the chat here. And I want to just ask a question of all of you. And Rosanne, we’ll start with you, which is, for the last few years, I don’t know how long Housing First was the language. And I know it connotes an actual program in certain jurisdictions, but it was as if we could shift people to think, oh, it’s about housing. But you guys are actually saying it’s about more than that. So should we not be saying casually housing first? Is there another way or I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t want to lose the momentum of people that run housing first initiatives. I’m not being critical, but just. OK, Fran, you want to say something and then Rosanne.


Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi [01:05:25] It has to be housing first, because until we meet those basic needs of shelter, security, warmth and food, there’s nowhere to build outward. So I still think that there’s something to be said about that premise.


Rosanne Haggerty [01:05:40] Yeah, no, I said that that housing first is a philosophy is not in opposition to the reality that I think we’re all saying it’s the whole system that you actually have to be making all of the parts come together. And certainly, you know, to just echo Fran, housing first is one of the values in getting people quickly out of homelessness and certainly preventing their becoming homeless in the first place. I think it’s unfortunate that somehow housing first in some places has developed this kind of, you know, kind of separate energy as though that’s all you have to think about, as opposed to why are people becoming homeless in the first place and how the groups work together. But as a principal, it has to be one of the things that we all practice.


Mary Rowe [01:06:31] Anybody else want to comment on that language? Dan do you use housing first in Oshawa, and is that what you use, Jamie, in Medicine Hat? Is that the term? Is that the one you still prefer?


Dan Carter [01:06:41] Yeah, and in Durham region, it is housing first, but again, I like to say people first because of the reason that I really believe it’s about the people, I think that sometimes what we look at is when we say housing first, it’s the four walls, it’s the roof. And where we struggle and where we’re trying to make inroads is how do we connect with those hard cases that are dealing with complexities that really need specialized care and specialized relationships. And a big part of that is building trust and helping individuals create new pathways. Those individuals are the ones that we really are desperate for, those that want to be part of making sure they’re housed and they have the services and all those kind of things, believe it or not, they’re not hard to reach. We can reach those individuals. We can provide services, we can navigate the system. We can make sure that all the connection points happen. When I spoke to Jamie. Matter of fact, I guess a couple of months ago is the big thing that I shared with Jamie was how do we connect with those individuals that want no part of us? And a big part of that is how do we reach that? Because in many circumstances, Mary, they’re the most complex issues. They have the most complex issues that they’re dealing with, those individuals are also living rough, living in environments that are unhealthy and very dangerous. And those are the individuals we really want to try and make sure that we don’t get just lost in the mosaic, but we really are paying attention in regards to it. So it’s a philosophy that I truly believe that it is people first, I have to believe that it’s people first. We’ll get to housing, but let’s get to the people first.


Mary Rowe [01:08:26] And I guess that’s the kind of housing it depends the kind of housing. Jamie, where are you going to jump in?


Jamie Rogers [01:08:30] And I’m just going to add a little bit to that. So if you’re in Medicine Hat, we are housing first. And it’s interesting because what we see happen with changes in government is the term is politicized, harm reduction is politicized. Housing first is now politicized. Permit supportive housing is now politicized. So just a word of caution as people are doing these strategies, obviously Medicine Hat, yes, we had a housing first philosophy and that drives how we choose to operate. And part of that has been recovery based harm reduction choice, no requirement for housing readiness, if you will, in that it is always client centered, or people first with that, those are the principles of housing first. So cautionary tale to not just limit yourself to one type of intervention. And the fidelity of the model is also very important. Any model that you utilize in the and the fidelity of it’s so important to achieving success and that it’s data and evidence based when Medicine Hat’s, I’m going to say, unique position as well, where we’ve had to extend beyond those and what literature is available to us to look at really creative ideas and innovative approaches about how we effectively serve certain populations or individuals that maybe haven’t engaged as robustly in the system of care that we develop. But that is not an engagement problem. That is a system problem. So really look at changing that system. And I think terminology and language is very important. But the politicizing it, where it takes it away from the meaning for the people that are actually engaging in it is very problematic. So just a word of caution.


Mary Rowe [01:10:01] Go ahead, Dan. Go ahead.


Dan Carter [01:10:03] The reason why I always hesitate about the housing first aspect is those that are not directly involved in file feel that the end result is just a house. And so what it does is ok, so we’re going to build a thousand houses in four years and there it is. And what I’m trying to say to people is, do you understand that this is a lot more complex? We have to get way upstream to be able to say what’s going on. And this is about inequity. This is about poverty. This is about addiction and mental health. This is many different issues that are impacting our community. And for some, especially in the political world, if it’s housing first, as long as we build houses, we’re done. We’ve done our bit and that’s it. When they walk around in. And I keep on saying the work is just starting there. And that’s what I worry about. Sometimes people use words and ways to be able to say, yeah, we checked it often when we’ve accomplished it. So now we’re on to the next day. We can’t go on to the next day, that’s how complex this issue is. And that’s the reason why I feel the way that I do, not for those that know, but for those that don’t know.


Mary Rowe [01:11:16] There are lots of comments in the chat about this and also about encampments which are just prevalent and can make it even more politicized. As we know, Jamie, this summer has been the summer of encampments, I think. Rosanne, did you have something you wanted to throw in on any of this? There’s a question in the chat specifically about data and looking for examples in which real time populations, Jeremy’s question, real time population level data translates into more effective interventions or policy in the sector. Any further things you want to offer there?


Rosanne Haggerty [01:11:44] Sure. I could offer maybe just two or three brief examples that just recently come to mind as far as how transformational, having accurate and comprehensive information is. And I’ll bet Jamie has some closer to home in Canada, for example, one of the communities that’s functional zero for veterans and is very close on Chronic is the Chattanooga Central Tennessee area. And they saw this uptick in veteran homelessness. And now they were doing very well, but they just panicked, all of a sudden there is a meaningful increase. And without being able to dig into their data with real granularity to see that what had happened was, there were I think it was one landlord in particular, that there are a number of people, this one landlord had bailed on a number of folks. And so they could have and we see this all over the place like, oh, we see an increase in you often don’t pick it up until a year later. But even without that kind of real time information, communities can often make assumptions about what’s going on in the greater community and just over respond or under-respond. In this case, they’re able to see a very specific problem, intervene with this landlord, know, provide more support there. And they got their numbers back down like within a month, as opposed to a problem that, you know, historically that could have grown and grown and grown. There’d be a lot of hypotheses like, oh, veteran homelessness, we’re losing ground. It just became a quickly solvable problem. And then in another community where we’re working, this is Hartford, Connecticut, which is the site of what, a color inflow pilot. We’re working to get this cluster of three neighborhoods that accounts for more than 20 percent of all homelessness and a population of about twenty-three thousand accounts for more than 20 percent of all homelessness and at one point four million person region. So we’re zeroing in on these zip codes. And there have been a lot of stories about like, oh, it’s families and it’s all about domestic violence. So many stories. Well, we dug into the data with the community team there and found that overwhelmingly homelessness was a product of a black man with involvement in the criminal justice system, with unmet behavioral health needs. And so the people who needed to be at the table were the behavioral health system and the correction system to begin kind of bending that curve. And without the data and without digging into the data, you know, people are already kind of, you know, kind of fashioning their grant applications for what we’re going to do about, you know, families who are experiencing homelessness. And that actually wasn’t the population. And so that gives you a sense of how vital it is to get it right through having a ground truth that’s shared with everybody who has to take action together.


Mary Rowe [01:14:55] And do not be afraid of what the data will tell you, I guess, and to be able to be very explicit about, here’s the particular challenge, Fran, in terms of the approach that you’ve been taking culturally specific, grounded in the values of the population that you were focused on, are there any things that you’ve learned through that process that you would want to emphasize with people in terms of the early days, because we have lots of people here who are going to say, they’re now going to Google you like crazy and find it the same way they’ll do with Jamie and they’re going to find out, OK, how did they do it in Medicine Hat and how are they tackling in Victoria? Maybe I’ll ask both of you either key things, just pithy little things that you would say they should put top of mind.


Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi [01:15:38] First and foremost, build authentic relationships. So what we’re trying to do in the downtown core is create community and create family. The residents in our houses are not called residents. They’re called family members. And what Rosanne just said, you know the importance of the data. Similarily, when we first started, on the news, the narrative of the time was that busloads were being sent this way from Winnipeg and other places because of our mild weather and that was making up our encampment that was outside of the court buildings. Well, we surveyed a hundred people in the downtown core, the Indigenous Street community. Forty-eight percent were from one of the three tribal groups on Vancouver Island. Another 19 percent was from a reserve or village, in B.C., and a much smaller percent was from outside of B.C., let alone Vancouver Island. And so that was very helpful for me because then my next step was to dive deeper of that 40 percent. Where are they from? So don’t take a pan-Indigenous approach. What I found was that one of the tribal groups was overrepresented. I was able to go and meet with their tribal council. We talked about ways that we could form some alliances and work together. So, yeah, I guess that would be one of the greatest learning in whatever supports you’re putting in place. The culture, the language camps. You know, these are individuals from across Canada, primarily B.C. for us. Well, what is the culture? What are the protocols and really respecting that and walking in a good way and doing our work.


Mary Rowe [01:17:34] again from the ground up. Jamie, what would you say would be a key thing for people to keep in mind as they’re approaching it in their community?


Jamie Rogers [01:17:43] Know that our success in Medicine Hat took 15 years in the making. This is not a year-long project. This is an ongoing and continuous improvement project for us. Coordinated access, by names list, those are going to be some of your most important data points and elements. People are not numbers, but we also need those data points to give us an idea of what communities are working with. Always strive to understand people in the context of their homelessness. Each individual experience is different. So really just honoring people’s journey into homelessness and assist them with their journey out of homelessness as well. I will always speak about data and performance management and performance management from a programmatic level and then from a system level as well. Really look at how those systems are operating, health, justice, even education we work with, talk about mental health and addiction, and it’s really important for the homeless serving sector to acknowledge and to really speak up that we are there because other systems have not succeeded in terms of we would not exist, the homeless serving system would not exist if those other systems were in place. So also holding those other systems accountable and ensuring and demanding that they’re at the table with you, whether that supports and cultural supports or the opportunity for housing or discharging into homelessness as well, make sure they’re at the table and you’re having those rough and tough conversations with them as well.


Mary Rowe [01:19:18] Thanks, Jamie. When you were doing the early days, as forming the society, did you find that there was resistance from any one particular sector to kind of joining arms, or were they all equally grumpy about it?


Jamie Rogers [01:19:31] They were all equally grumpy about it. But I have to say that paradigm shift in community was probably one of the most fabulous things I’ve ever experienced and been part of. They are our biggest allies in our efforts to end homelessness, and especially during covid it even brought those systems closer together. They’re not without challenges. We will always have challenges. I’m sure they have just as much challenge with me at the other end of the line as well as I do with them. So it’s about that mutual accountability and that driving for change to make sure that every individual or community is healthy and that we have a community that takes care of their own and then some.


Mary Rowe [01:20:13] I just saw a comment from Kelly in the chat about finding natural leaders. Like sometimes, you know, you need to get the head of the United Way and you need to get the head of the whatever. But sometimes the leadership may come and it may come actually from the community. Right. And we did a session a couple of weeks ago on encampments. We had two folks on them with lived experience, one who was in Victoria, one in Toronto. They were extraordinarily insightful about their experience in the encampment and what the encampment offered them, that the shelter that they had been placed in wasn’t. And one of the things that I came away with was that notion of agency and the capacity to actually have some involvement in their own plan is that once they left the encampment that was part of the appeal of the encampment is that they could self-organize to a certain extent. And this is the dilemma with supportive measures that may well be well-intentioned, but actually strip away from people their own sense of autonomy, that they can make some of their own decisions. Dan, do you have a particular phrase or comment or theme that you’re encouraging your colleagues to pursue as you try to end homelessness in Oshawa?


Dan Carter [01:21:22] Well, I would say my success is based on two things, enthusiasm and ignorance. So I really work that, being enthusiastic about something but don’t really understand how difficult it is going to be, and that’s what I always kind of work on. But if there’s anything that I’ve learned out of it on both sides of the coin of what I’ve learned from my conversations with leaders from across the country is, you know, communication with those that are impacted by, those that are living rough and those that are in our homeless population that have complex issues and those in our community that could be community champions, our business leaders, our politicians. And really, truly, one of the things that I did is I went out to all the faith communities and I talked about addiction, mental health, about living rough and individuals that live in our community because I felt that if I could communicate with them about what is transpiring, then it gave me an opportunity to give them an experience that they had drawn a conclusion on. But they also walked away with better knowledge and they went, you know, I didn’t realize that. And I just thought, you know, you hear this like, well, you know, just get a job, you know, kind of thing. So educating and communicating is really, really important. I love what Fran had said, and it really stuck with me today. And I got to be honest with you, it’s kind of one of these things that’s really sticking with me, community. And I heard Fran talk about community. It wasn’t about, you know, supervised safe injection sites. It was about those experiences of becoming part of the community you just talked about in the community and understanding what that’s all about. But I keep on saying to our political leaders, there is no fast way out of this. It’s going to be expensive. It’s going to be long. It’s going to be labor intensive. But the reality being is, this is probably one of the best investments you’ll ever make, but it’s not going to be quick and you’re not going to be able to stand there and cut a ribbon and be all, you know, get all the applause because it may not happen within your term. Do it because it’s the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. There’s great people across this nation, across North America that can help us actually be able to address the complexities of what we’re facing right now. What I’m afraid of, Mary, is that as soon as we get past this period of this pandemic, especially in our country, that for some reason I think what will happen is people and I’ve already heard it, we’ll go back to normal. And, you know, those people that are unsheltered, that they’ll just go away. Go away where? To get what? And that’s what I worry about. This issue cannot leave the front pages of the newspaper. So, you know, like I say, I just try, I’m still learning. I’m still a novice, even though I have my own lived experience and I have my own history in regards to this challenge, but what it was like 30 years ago when I was on the streets and what it’s like today, I’ve got to be honest with you, it’s unbelievably a lot more complex, which means our systems need to change, that old ways of doing things, old communities and builds that we used to do it, shelters that don’t really take into consideration the complexities of today’s individuals and put people into environments where they don’t feel safe. We’ve got to do better than what we’re doing right now.


Mary Rowe [01:24:48] Thanks, Dan, go ahead, Fran. And then I’m going to let Rosanne close


Fran Hunt-Jinnouchi [01:24:52] Just a few quick things. We just wrapped up, we created an Indigenous Systems Improvement Map. We’re reporting out on that to the community tomorrow. And we asked, where do you go for emotional help, spiritual health, physical and mental. So looking at all of our systems in play, very, very informative, we were able to identify ten main organizations in the city that hit almost all of them. We’ve now invited them to become part of what’s called a collaborative response network, because we also ask those individuals, what is your experience at those organizations, like what’s working, what isn’t and what are the gaps? But we also just wrapped up stigma research, reporting out on that tomorrow. And what stood out for me and I just love it, a person was asked, what do you want these organizations to know? How can they do better? And the person said, just shut up and listen.


Mary Rowe [01:25:54] There you go. That’ll get tweeted out for sure. OK, Rosanne, a couple of minutes from you and then we’ll wrap.


Rosanne Haggerty [01:26:03] Well, it’s been such a privilege to be part of the conversation. Thank you, Mary, for inviting me. And very eager to learn more about the work that I’ve heard about from Fran’s organization and Oshawa. And, of course, follow Jamie’s work in Medicine Hat closely. But just a few things I wanted to reinforce that were observed in Jamie’s comment just a moment ago about homelessness as a system wouldn’t exist if everything else was working. I think that’s just such a powerful takeaway that in some ways homelessness isn’t the problem. It’s the symptom of that problem, which is our safety net is broken. And there’s this lack of accountability for what happens to vulnerable people in crisis. And that’s the problem we all could be working on in a different way. And I think covid has exposed the very fragile structures in our communities that need reinforcement. And that by working on those, we will reduce homelessness and but knowing people by name and taking this population level view, it’s that combination that really has been so transformational. And I also wanted to return to something the mayor had said. It makes such a difference even if mayors in our system usually don’t control the housing or the human services resources. But where the mayor is the champion and is basically giving cover to the front-line staff is saying this is important, is talking to the business leaders, is talking to the health care leaders, is frankly the best, most powerful device I’ve seen are mayors who are asking what the number is every week. Tell me what the by-name list is. Is it going in the right direction? What’s working, what isn’t? Mayoral attention is so powerful, even in the absence of having control of the levers of money. It actually does change the dynamic in a community we’ve seen, even though the resources may not actually be part of what you can bring, bring attention, commitment and essentially stepping up to be accountable for what happens in your community. That has been huge. In fact, there’s a case study that the Harvard Kennedy School just published about a week ago on Built for Zero, and it features the mayor of Rockford, Illinois, who sort of had no power other than calling meetings and making sure the data is collected and just drumming away at this issue. And they ended chronic and veteran homelessness. So just appreciate Mayor Carter’s commitment to this issue and just want to reinforce that there is a really powerful role to be played by that champion, in the form of the mayor. And then, Mary, you opened the session with the observation that there’s a national election going on. One of the things that we are with our new administration in Washington leaning hard into is how do we get the data standards right? How do we open up the technology space so that communities can more easily collaborate using modern tools? How do we create the expectation in all of our federal spending starting there, that everything that goes out to communities to address homelessness is adding up to fewer people experiencing homelessness rather than just reinforcing this siloed set of responses? And so at this moment in your federal election, just say like, what are those big framing policy moves that could actually reset the landscape and prevent Fran and Jamie and everyone else from just having to do workarounds to even get people to talk to each other and take responsibility, community by community, for saying that everyone has a stable home.


Mary Rowe [01:30:04] There you go. Thanks. You heard it here, first city talks, September 13, really great to have the leadership lecture kicked off like this and to have our city talk season kicked off like this. Rosanne, you are an inspiration for so many. Somebody put in the chat early on that they saw a 60 Minutes interview with you a couple of decades ago, and it had influenced their career choices and the way they’ve been behaving and conducting their work. And here they were being reminded of it today. So you are a testament not saying you’re old, but just you are a testament to perseverance and to working in a collaborative kind of frame and rethinking challenges in new, fresh ways, as you started years ago in Times Square. And here you are now across the country and into the world. And we’re very appreciative that you took the time to be with us and to help us think about and imagine and challenge us in how we can operate. Fran, delighted to see you. CUI has a program called CUI X Local. And next week, we’re actually in Halifax. We’re kicking off with the Art of City Building. Someone will put into the chat how you can register for that. Guys, it’s a whole day organized with a bunch of partners out of Nova Scotia led by Develop Nova Scotia, we are their partner. And then we stay all week and meet with a whole bunch of stakeholders and folks to hear what’s working, what’s not and what’s next in the Halifax region. And then the couple weeks later, we’re in Victoria, Fran with you. That’s why I was plugging it. So we look forward to being on the ground in Victoria, learning from Victorians after we learn from Haligonians. And so the Art of City Building is next Monday open to everybody. Then deep dive in Halifax, then home for a few weeks, and then we come to you, Fran. So thanks so much for sharing with us your poignant perspective. Jamie, we want to come to Medicine Hat. Really, we do. So let’s find a reason so that we can come up and learn from you. Maybe we’ll do Medicine Hat, CUI x Medicine Hat, that’d be great. And Dan, we have a long association with the city of Oshawa through your initiative, The Teaching City, which CUI helped incubate and pleased to see your leadership. And as you just heard Rosanne call out to you, to summon, and other people in the chat have said, please speak to all the regional mayors, could you please, so that they would all take the same kind of comprehensive whole person, whole society, whole government view. So listen, gang, thanks so much for being with us today. Thanks, everybody. On the chat next week, as I say, Monday is the Art of City Building. And on Thursday we’re going to do a city talk normal time, Thursdays, midday Eastern on the future of cities in whatever the new Canada looks like next Thursday. So mark your calendar, make sure you vote on Monday or if not before. And again, Rosanne, thanks so much for joining us. And thanks everybody for being part of this lecture.


Full Audience
Chatroom Transcript

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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.
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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.
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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:
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16:38:16 From Lindsay Allan : Thank you for a wonderful intro Mary!
16:38:56 From Glenn Brown : How turn off cc?
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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!
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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!