Critical partnerships make the greatest difference in creating transformational change, says Sherri Magee, Streetohome Board Member and Co-chair of the Promising Approaches Committee.
“Streetohome puts together some of the key partners – BC Housing, City of Vancouver, Vancouver Coastal Health and the Vancouver Police Department, alongside the private sector – to develop comprehensive strategies and have a greater impact.”
The most comprehensive strategy is looking at the upstream drivers and how homelessness can be prevented says Sherri. “As John McLernon first said, ‘we can’t build ourselves out of homelessness – housing is only one piece of the puzzle.’”
“We need to look at the health and wellness needs, employment, skills and training, legal and social needs of these individuals. How can we give them a sense of belonging and meaning in the community?”
Sherri attended a Streetohome study trip to the Recovery Café in Seattle, an identified best practice, evidence-based model, and is proud that Streetohome is bringing the Recovery Café to Vancouver in 2021.
“Café members are supported in an environment where they’re in the community, they have a place to go back to everyday, and they’re able to keep on track in working towards their goals,” she describes.
“You need to give them an opportunity and a sense of meaning, and then move them through the (housing) continuum into independent living so that they can follow their own life path.”