Housing and Homelessness
The Salvation Army offers support to people who are experiencing homelessness and social exclusion. We offer a range of services, which include emergency shelters, transitional and supportive housing, and wrap-around supports. Our services are designed to take a person-centred, holistic approach, aiming to meet the complex vulnerabilities and multi-faceted needs of those we serve.
We have 52 emergency shelters and operate nearly one in five of all emergency shelter beds in Canada. For the past three decades, the context in which we provide emergency shelter services has been changing: the number of people experiencing homelessness has been rising; our shelters are being used more often and for longer periods.
New research shows emergency shelters average over 90% occupancy, compared with 80% in 2005. To address this increase, many funders have begun to shift resources to coordinated systems responses that focus on re-housing people as quickly as possible and helping them to access the supports they need to stabilize in the community. This new approach, called “Housing First,” has been adopted by governments across Canada, the United States and Europe. The Salvation Army has developed seven operating principles in order to align itself with Housing First, while at the same time staying focused on its mission. The Salvation Army is implementing these principles across the Canada and Bermuda territory.