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Introducing the Canadian Shelter Transformation Network

May 16, 2019 - 11:00 pm / News

The CAEH is supporting a new peer-led network of homeless shelter leaders committed to transforming their organizations to becoming housing-focused. The Canadian Shelter Transformation Network is holding its founding meeting on May 27. 

Homeless shelters play a pivotal role in the homeless systems of most Canadian communities. Over the last two years, a growing number of homeless shelters have begun to transform from a traditional emergency service approach to a focus on housing and taking on community leadership roles in ending homelessness. 

The Canadian Shelter Transformation Network (CSTN) is a new peer-led network, supported by the CAEH, dedicated to supporting the transformation of homeless shelters toward a housing focus through research, training and peer learning. 

CSTN is led by co-chairs Sandra Clarkson, Calgary Drop-In Centre executive director, and Matthew Pearce, Old Brewery Mission president and CEO.  

Shelters are at the centre of most homeless systems in Canadian cities,” Clarkson says. “We really believe – and we’re starting to see – that if shelters shift their focus to housing, we can become engines of ending homelessness in our communities.” 

Network members will include family, single adult, women and youth shelters.  

The founding meeting will be held on May 27, 1 p.m. EDT. If you are a leader in an emergency shelter and you would like to join the CSTN and tune into the founding meeting REGISTER HERE. 

“This is an exciting opportunity to be on the cutting edge of a major change in the shelter world.” says Pearce. “We’re looking for network members who are committed to shifting their focus to housing, have a bias for action and are focused on continuous improvement toward the goal of ending homelessness.” 

The inaugural webinar meeting will include the CSTN’s introduction, preliminary workplan, and upcoming plans for a face to face meeting at the 2019 National Conference on Ending Homelessness.  

CSTN activities will include: 

  • Articulating a housing-focused role for shelters in ending homelessness; 
  • Acting as the voice of shelters in the media and in policy discussions; 
  • Developing research and toolkits to support shelter transformation;  
  • Developing a community of practice (a moderated call, set around different themes to discuss shared issues, challenges, opportunities for shelters); 
  • Collecting and posting shelter-based resources 
  • Developing a set of national guidelines and certification for housing-focused shelters.