Inter-agency interview by alliance to end homelessness passes milestone

On November 1, 2012 the Community Legal Clinic - Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes is joining other members of the North Simcoe Alliance to End Homelessness (NSCATEH) for a first look at a new interactive interview for interagency referrals. The development of this interview has been spearheaded by the WIT Project (Whatever It Takes) with the help of Communitylegalcinic.com. The WIT Project is an initiative of the NSCATEH.

The intent of the WIT Project is the development of a strategy that provides for "one-stop" access to the full continuum of support services that might be required to serve people who are homeless or vulnerable to the risks of poverty and homelessness. The WIT Project proposes to carry out this vision through strong inter-agency communication, partnering, collaboration, and efficient use of services.

The WIT project evolved out of a desire to improve system capacity and be more responsive to clients needs. With no one agency having a specific mandate to address the range of issues facing vulnerable clients there was no way to really know if the client was always getting the services they needed, and the recognition that clients may be falling through the cracks with no way to consistently follow up.

In considering this project, information was gathered from a variety of sources including: input from the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness (SCATEH) Community Planning process, the No Wrong Door Project in North Bay, The Nipissing District of Homelessness Partnership, and the Community Legal Clinic-Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes' Communitylegalclinic.com intake pilot.

NSCATEH is a Chapter of the SCATEH. Established in 1998, the SCATEH is a non-profit coalition of over 70 individuals and organizations. SCATEH is committed to strengthening community capacity in order to reduce homelessness or at risk of homelessness population through awareness-raising, advocacy, and other strategies. There are 5 chapters in Simcoe County, including the North Simcoe chapter.

NSCATEH membership is open to anyone interested in addressing the issues of poverty and homelessness, and of strengthening the systems that can help to alleviate these issues. Membership is inclusive of the local community and includes concerned citizens as well as agencies such as Community Link, Salvation Army, Georgian Bay Native Friendship, YMCA Employment Services, Ontario Works, Waypoint Centre for Mental Health Care (Housing Services), Wendat, and Catholic Family Services of Simcoe County.

The Community Legal Clinic - Simcoe, Haliburton, Kawartha Lakes has provided project management and development support to the WIT Project as part of its community development mandate as well as to encourage the use of A2J Author interactive interviews by local interested agencies.