(Above) Inside an apartment at the Ches Penney Centre of Hope, which offers permanent supportive housing in St. John’s, N.L

The Salvation Army has signed on as an official partner of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH), a national movement of individuals and organizations led by the shared mission to prevent and end homelessness in Canada. According to the CAEH, an end to homelessness means that no Canadian individual or family must stay in an emergency shelter or sleep outside for more than a week before moving into a safe and affordable home.

The CAEH’s list of partners includes shelters in major cities, organizations such as United Way, the John Howard Society and the YWCA. Now, Commissioner Floyd Tidd, territorial commander, has signed on behalf of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda, agreeing that we will act within our capacity to achieve this end.

The Salvation Army also agrees to support the four core principles of Housing First: that people should have choice and self-determination in the housing and support they receive; that people should be given direct access to housing with the support they need to sustain it; that housing is a human right; and that the goal of housing and support for people experiencing homelessness is social inclusion, self-sufficiency and improved quality of life.

As one of The Salvation Army’s core social services, the provision of housing and shelter has been part of our organization since 1886. Today the Army operates more than 50 emergency shelters across Canada and Bermuda and provides 5,500 emergency shelter, transitional and supportive housing beds each night.

“The Salvation Army’s homelessness response and housing stability work is some of our most intrinsic and significant work in Canada,” says Amy Fisher, housing and homelessness consultant, on behalf of the social mission department. “Formally joining the CAEH is one way to signal that we’re being an innovative partner, mobilized to share hope where there is hardship, and building just communities that know the love of Jesus. A just community must certainly include the dignity, safety and stability of home for everyone.”

“The territorial commander has solidified a commitment to Canadians, to our partners and to the CAEH, a commitment that we believe is already in practice at other levels of the organization, signalling that we, as a territory, believe that an end to homelessness is possible and within reach,” says Lt-Colonel John Murray, territorial secretary for communications. “We don’t want to simply manage homelessness into the future, but to be part of solving it.”

Photo: Steadman Bowers

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