Greater Victoria, Homelessness Engagement Framework and Toolkit

People who are, or have been homeless, face many barriers to participating in the decisions that impact them.  The Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness (the Coalition) believes that engagement with people with lived experience of homelessness (PWLE) is a critical step for social inclusion and identifying appropriate solutions for housing, health, support service needs, and choices. The Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Framework and Toolkit provides solutions and ideas vetted by people with lived experience and the service providers who help them.

The Capital Regional District, in partnership with the Coalition, retained CitySpaces, in collaboration with the Community Social Planning Council to complete the Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Framework and Toolkit.

The goal of this project was to engage directly with people who have experience with being homeless, housing and health providers, and provide a strategy on how to better engage this group of diverse stakeholders in effective and appropriate ways. Through research, one-on-one conversations, focus groups, surveys and engagement pop-ups, we put together a Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Framework and the Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Toolkit to guide inclusive future planning and engagement.

Engagement Framework

People who are, or have been homeless, face many barriers to participating in the decisions that impact them. The Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Framework was developed for front-line workers and outreach staff in housing, health, corrections, youth aging out of care, and community-based organizations whose mandate includes assisting people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness. The Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Framework aims to reduce these barriers through a framework for engaging people with experience of homelessness in a meaningful, respectful, and powerful way.

How was the Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Framework Developed?

  • Meeting one-on-one, or in an informal group setting with people who are homeless or precariously housed — more than 70 people were engaged in talking about how they prefer to voice their opinions about the barriers they face, their interactions with service providers, and the best ways to ensure their ongoing participation.
  • Meeting with service providers in group settings and one-on-one meetings about the challenges they experience and the ways they find to be effective in engaging with people experiencing homelessness.
  • Meeting with the Coalition’s Social Inclusion and Communications and Engagement Committee.
  • Undertaking an online survey of service providers to learn what have proven to be successful ways of engaging people, the issues they have faced, as well as their suggestions for future engagement.
  • Reviewing promising practices being used by organizations that frequently or continuously engage directly with people who have experienced homelessness.

How is the Framework Organized?

  • Seven Key Principles
  • Five Levels of Engagement
  • How Clients Want to Engage
  • Approaches & Practice Pointers
  • People with Unique Needs
  • Questions & Answers

Engagement Toolkit

As a companion document to the Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Framework, the Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Toolkit is a booklet that sets out tools and techniques that have been well received or recommended by PWLE. The tools have also proven to be effective for the individuals and organizations that are undertaking various types of engagement. They were sourced from organizations in the capital region, as well as through a review of documents, and telephone calls, with organizations in North America that undertake regular and ongoing engagement with people experiencing homelessness.

The Greater Victoria Homelessness Engagement Toolkit is organized according to five levels of engagement, derived from materials developed by the International Association of Participation (IAP2), one of the most frequently cited sources for stakeholder and public engagement best practices.”

PROJECT TEAM:

Linda-Allen-Thumbnail lani-brunn-thumbnail Shelley-Gadsden-Palmer-Thumbnail talia-kerr-headshot

Linda Allen         Lani Brunn         Shelley Gadsden Palmer  Talia Kerr