Edmonton housing strategy gathering to take a critical step

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017 7:54pm


By Windspeaker.com staff
With files from Jeremy Harpe of CFWE-FM

Urban Indigenous housing and homelessness will be the focus of a gathering tomorrow, March 29, hosted by Homeward Trust Edmonton at the Ramada Edmonton Hotel & Conference Centre, 11834 Kingsway Avenue.

Indigenous agencies, service providers, organizations, and businesses will come together to share knowledge and to speak to the experiences of urban Indigenous housing and homelessness in Edmonton.

Through the event, Homeward Trust is facilitating the creation of a detailed housing strategy implementation plan, said Beverly Allard, the coordinator of the 2017 Indigenous Gathering.

In an interview with CFWE-FM’s Jeremy Harpe, Allard said the goal is to provide an outline of actionable programs, projects, and recommendations for policy changes that will address the needs of Indigenous people in Edmonton.

Indigenous peoples are disproportionately represented amongst those experiencing homelessness in Edmonton, reads a press release. In the 2016 Homeless Count, 48 per cent of people surveyed identified as Indigenous.

The event will begin with registration at 8:30 a.m. and will proceed with a continental breakfast, a prayer and an honor song.

“We do these things so that we can ensure we’re starting off the day in the right way,” said Allard.

Homeward Trust CEO Susan McGee will provide a welcome and opening address. Then the “Indigenous community and the organizations that speak to and advocate for their experiences” will roll up their sleeves and get down to the business of building a housing strategy with a focused look at the needs of Indigenous populations, Allard said.

Homeward Trust works closely with Indigenous communities and stakeholders to improve service delivery and to ensure that culturally-appropriate housing and supports are available.

Since 2009, Homeward Trust and its Housing First partner agencies have housed and supported more than 3,500 Indigenous adults and children.