Based on a Housing First model this housing program is designed to provide housing and support for eight individuals who are considered to be the most vulnerable in our community and who have the most difficulty accessing and sustaining housing. It is not necessary for them to give up their addiction to maintain this type of housing. Individuals with the greatest need are “screened in” rather than “screened out” due to the complex needs of the tenants, Harbour House operates with a 24-hour staffing model. As always, our emphasis is about reducing the harm to improve health. Harm reduction strategies provide a realistic health approach for this group of people.
Harbour House is situated in a residential neighbourhood. This unique model provides the opportunity not only for the tenant to be “normalized” into a community but also for the community to get to know the tenants. We all rise to the level of our environments and for 9 years we have seen the difference it has made for our clients to live in a neighbourhood. We have seen relationships develop that reinforce to us that this model is one that works well, not just for our clients but for the community as a whole.
This program has reunited families, has renewed a sense of community in tenants that was thought to be long gone and as most our residents are palliative, has provided a loving, caring home to spend their last days in.