The First Canadian City to Eliminate Homelessness. You Won’t Believe How They Did It

The appropriate dose of the ideal answer has sparked a remarkable upheaval for Medicine Hat, Alberta’s homeless community.

Thanks to a new policy in the Canadian city that guarantees accommodation to anyone who has been without it for 10 days, all 60,000 of the city’s residents will have a safe and dry place to sleep tonight.

When city officials become aware of a person (or family) living in these conditions, they arrange for the person (or family) to be relocated to a more suitable dwelling.

To be more specific, Mayor Ted Clugston has stated that 10 days is the absolute maximum; typically, the city is able to provide accommodation for the homeless even sooner.

Medicine Hat was the first Canadian community to embrace the “Housing First” strategy, which involves providing shelter to those without homes before addressing the factors that contributed to their homelessness.

Using this method, Utah was able to reduce its homeless population by 91% in just ten years.

When you consider Housing First, your perspective changes. The old saying was, “You want a home, get off the drugs or deal with your mental health concerns,” as Clugston explained to CBC News.

“If you’re sleeping under a park bench and you have a drug problem, it’s not going to be easy to kick the habit.”

Since the city began constructing new shelters for the homeless in 2009, it has successfully helped nearly 900 people leave the streets for good.

Housing a homeless person costs the city roughly $20,000 per year, but leaving them on the streets costs $100,000.

As a result of adopting Housing First, Medicine Hat has seen a dramatic decrease in both homeless-related calls to police and hospital visits.