This program supports households who are homeless or at imminent risk of becoming homeless due to crisis situations such as eviction, job loss, relationship issues, hoarding, financial management, functional furniture/appliances failure and addiction/mental and personal health challenges. The program deals with the immediate crisis and stabilizes the household, yet also identifies areas of concern that will require future support and ensure the seamless transition along the housing continuum. This program is the entry point to LIPI services and where staff will have their first contact with clients, as well as where initial intake and information verification will take place. From here, a household will be assessed as to whether or not other LIPI programs will need to be utilized in order to maintain housing stability.
Housing Sustainability Plan
Staff completes an in-depth needs analysis that identifies the current housing and financial status of the household and the short-term and long-term interventions and resources required to stabilize the household. This may or may not involve relocating the household temporarily or permanently to address the initial crisis that initiated the contact.
This plan involves:
- General Intake
- Financial Needs Test
- Repayment Capacity Assessment
- Program Participation Agreement
- Repayment Agreement
- Program Service Plan (Which identifies the community resources required to achieve/maintain household success in a seamless manner)
LIPI’s advocacy role, which comes to the forefront with any service program, is second to none in the District. In terms of the breadth of knowledge and experience in delivering direct Homelessness Prevention services, the agency utilizes its human resources to maximize both its clients and its partners abilities’ to find solutions. In many cases problem resolution and stabilization does not always involve the need for funding, as often negotiating terms for conflict resolution and having the client take ownership of the problem usually results in far greater, lasting solutions.
Immediate Housing Acquisition & Stabilization
Targeted at individuals released from the hospital, detox programs, or the justice system, this service helps people that require immediate housing and stabilization tools (e.g. prescriptions, household starter packs, food, etc.). Once settled, the individual will seamlessly transition into the Housing Stabilization Program for further support.
Rent Arrears (Once CHPI avenue has been exhausted)
Clients can access on a sliding scale up to two months of rent arrears. It is positive social policy to stop an eviction, give possible shelter, and avoid school disruption for children rather than to pay the cost of re-housing a family.
Community Housing Guarantee Program
Revolving loan and payment funding for last month’s rent and utility deposits dependent on capacity to repay. The program ensures private/public landlords will receive last month’s rent in order to provide an incentive to house individuals and families who are in difficult financial situations but require housing.
Given the agency’s reputation as an ‘honest broker’ the team has built strong working relationships with private/public landlords. This allows the agency to facilitate resolutions for individuals or families currently housed but at risk of eviction, as well as utilize their contacts in order to rapidly re-house or secure housing for individuals and families in crisis.
The agency is responsible for producing and disseminating a daily Vacancy List to partners across the District. This list is vital in assisting shelter clients and those at risk of eviction in finding suitable housing, as it is an up-to-date daily snapshot of what is currently available. Also, having responsibility for the production of the list keeps the agency current and relevant to private landlords as they place their vacancy listings through them.
Keeps households functional and livable by providing intervention prior to disconnection from utilities in order to save money and avoid shelter stays and large deposit requirements.
Housing Success Facilitators
The recognition of existing LIPI support services and identified as a need by community partners. These staff members respond to other crisis intervention requests and take part in crisis assessments where expertise is required to ensure the best avenue of support is utilized in order to deal with the situation.
Immediate Stabilization Tool-Kit
This provides households with appliances and furniture, prescriptions, household starter packs, and etc. in order to ensure functional housing is secured or maintained.
Hoarding Response Team
This team is called into action when a local Fire Department (or in the case of unorganized townships, the Provincial Fire Marshall) has been called in to deal with a suspected hoarding household. LIPI co-chairs the Nipissing Hoarding Coalition, and responds by providing staff and volunteers, while also holding funding to assist the households affected by hoarding.