Strategy #13 - Alberta Human Services - Government of Alberta

Strategy #13

Shift expectations and develop outcome measures for emergency shelters in Alberta.

Adopting a housing first philosophy across the province will necessitate a shift in mandate for emergency shelters in Alberta. Shelters can no longer be regarded as a housing option where Albertans stay for long periods of time. The focus of shelters will need to be firmly placed on re-housing people, not warehousing them. Shelters will continue to play an important role in emergency response, but they will need to shift their operations so that they working to rapidly re-house homeless Albertans.

Accordingly, standards for Alberta emergency shelters will be adjusted to reflect Alberta’s move to a housing first philosophy. These standards will be implemented over time and will help shelters evolve their operations. Standards are likely to include provisions that:

  • stipulate a maximum length of stay in shelters;
  • require that case management be provided in shelters (though not necessarily by the shelter itself);
  • expect shelters to move people through to rapid re-housing.

As homelessness is ended in Alberta, there will be a reduced need for shelter spaces. Where feasible, shelter infrastructure will find new life as other housing options.

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PID: 14622