Since inception in November 2004, Home Suite Hope Shared Living Corp. (HSH) has achieved considerable success rates in stabilizing the lives and renewing productive engagement for homeless families and single individuals in Halton Region.

HSH is a small, dynamic organization that is able to respond to growth and change very nimbly and effectively. The organization has recently completed a major review of strategic direction. Utilizing our collective experience, expertise and capabilities, HSH has developed a long term strategy and focused its strengths, experience, expertise, capacity and assets – both capital and human, on service delivery to lone parent families. The strategic program goal is to transform the existing family service delivery model to achieve an enhanced transitional residential housing program with integrated, holistic, “wrap-around” support to help lone parent families reach stability and independence.

To do this HSH has developed strategic goals focused on building an organization that can achieve sustainable growth across Halton Region while providing structured and purposeful support, leading edge case management, financial stability, innovative volunteer and fundraising strategies and staffing expertise.

Family Program Models

Our ReStart Halton (RSH) family program assists single parent families by providing innovative, affordable transitional housing accommodation, and support services that enhance a family’s capacities for improved social and family functioning and provides the education and employment skills to have families acquire the financial management tools, and income earning potential, to live independently and well-housed, long-term. This is achieved by providing safe, stable affordable housing and integrated and holistic support allowing lone parent families to develop the capacity to move away from transitional housing, regain their dignity, function competently and independently, and reach their full measure of potential.

Our Homeward Bound Halton (HBH) program provides up to 4 years of affordable housing, a child care subsidy, and a fully funded college education with built-in 14-week job internship to help single mothers stabilize their lives and break the cycle of poverty. The goal of the program is to enable participants to obtain a marketable education that will lead to economically sustainable employment following graduation and their internship program.

Innovation

A core strength of HSH has been its ability to work cooperatively with existing organizations and government agencies to cover gaps in services in innovative ways and to gain extensive reach within the community. A key example has been the development of Milton Housing Corp. (MHC) which is the result of a very successful partnership with MHC and Milton Area Christian Churches Working Together (MACCWT) which has launched transitional housing services to Milton – Canada’s fastest growing city. Further, HSH has developed highly successful partnerships with over 100 local agencies in order to provide the most effective support system needed for the family unit.

Another innovative strategy has been HSH’s pilot apartment rental program with a supportive landlord/property management company for the housing of a single parent family with three children. The rental apartment pilot which ran from September 2010 to January 2011 has been very successful and is paving the way for program growth through existing rentals in both Oakville and Burlington.

HSH was also selected as the Halton Region partner of choice to replicate Toronto-based WoodGreen Community Services highly successful Homeward Bound program. Homeward Bound Halton offers single mother-led families a fully furnished apartment for up to 4 years, a college level diploma, job internships, fully funded day-care, and finally the potential for career placement. The overall objective is to provide complete self-sufficiency for participant families, in a way that completely breaks the cycle of poverty.

Growth

Our ReStart Halton and Homeward Bound Halton family programs are positioned for growth with appropriate funding. Through effective strategic re-alignment and a highly capable social services team the unit capacity and family support can double in size without increasing staff. The HSH Board has approved a growth plan to reach a total of 14-15 in our Restart Halton program and 15 families in the Homeward Bound Halton program in 2014-2016. HSH has a growing waitlist of eligible families that could utilize our services and as we are able to grow then these families will be moved forward to stability faster – and that is better for everyone.