Transitional Housing and Support Services for Newcomer Women

Partners

Federal:
Status of Women Canada
Community:
YWCA Halifax

Location

Halifax, Nova Scotia

Duration

2008/07/28 – 2009/09/30

Focus Areas

Women and Families; Immigrants

Objective

This project tested whether providing settlement support, including housing, to newcomer women and their families who were homeless or at high risk of being homeless improved their long-term housing and settlement outcomes, thereby preventing and reducing the incidence of homelessness.

Project Summary

The project provided support to 10 newcomer women and their families in the following areas: housing; employment, training and language; health and well-being; civic navigation; social engagement; and networking opportunities. Participants were housed in a transitional housing facility and an individualized action plan was developed for each participant to assist them in improving their housing situation. They received a training allowance or monthly housing supplement, and were assisted with furnishing their homes and provided with grocery vouchers, clothing and sanitary products. Participants were also able to access medical services not covered by the provincial health care, such as dental care, medical prescriptions and counselling. Five of the women received language training and arrangements were made for four to further their education. Participants were assisted in finding employment by having their resumes sent out to employment agencies and other organizations.

Project Results

The project was successful in providing clients with the intended supports in a timely and efficient matter. All of the participants reported feeling supported by the project. Some of the program’s aspects that participants felt were especially helpful were: assistance finding housing; emotional and financial supports; being active participants in a research project; meeting with other women in similar situations; and the practical help navigating the system. Overall, participants felt that the support received had a positive impact in their settlement and was crucial in their success. One participant was able to finish her studies in a Master program through the funding provided. By the end of the project, the number of women who had secured suitable housing increased, with nine of the women working or pursuing education.

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