Aboriginal: A collective name for the original peoples of North America and their descendants. The Canadian constitution recognizes three groups of Aboriginal people: Indians (commonly referred to as First Nations), Métis and Inuit (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
First Nations (non-status): People who consider themselves Indians or members of a First Nation but whom the Government of Canada does not recognize as Indians under the Indian Act, either because they are unable to prove their status or have lost their status rights. Many Indian people in Canada, especially women, lost their Indian status through discriminatory practices in the past. Non-Status Indians are not entitled to the same rights and benefits available to Status Indians (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
First Nations (status): People who are entitled to have their names included on the Indian Register, an official list maintained by the federal government. Certain criteria determine who can be registered as a Status Indian. Only Status Indians are recognized as Indians under the Indian Act, which defines an Indian as “a person who, pursuant to this Act, is registered as an Indian or is entitled to be registered as an Indian.” Status Indians are entitled to certain rights and benefits under the law (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
Inuit: An Aboriginal people in Northern Canada, who live in Nunavut, Northwest Territories, Northern Quebec and Northern Labrador. The word means “people” in the Inuit language — Inuktitut. The singular of Inuit is Inuk. (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
Metis: People of mixed First Nation and European ancestry who identify themselves as Métis, as distinct from First Nations people, Inuit or non-Aboriginal people. The Métis have a unique culture that draws on their diverse ancestral origins, such as Scottish, French, Ojibway and Cree. (Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada).
Absolute homelessness: Those living on the street with no physical shelter of their own, including those who spend their nights in emergency shelters (Systems Planning Framework).
Accessible: in reference to a type of housing unit, accessible refers to units that are designed to promote accessibility for individuals with disabilities. This sometimes includes physical elements such as low height cupboards or light switches, wide doorways, and adapted bathrooms.103
ACE: Adverse Childhood Experience(s)
Acuity: An assessment of the level of complexity of a person’s experience. Acuity is used to determine the appropriate level, intensity, duration, and frequency of case managed supports to sustainably end a person’s or family’s homelessness (Systems Planning Framework).
Affordable housing: The Calgary City Council approved definition of affordable housing is housing that “adequately suits the needs of low- and moderate-income households at costs below those generally found in the Calgary market. It may take a number of forms that exist along a continuum” including various rental options through to entry-level home ownership. Affordable housing is targeted to households with 65 percent or less of the median household income in Calgary.104
Alberta Works: Alberta Works is the province of Alberta’s Income Support system. It is administered by Alberta Employment and Immigration and helps unemployed people find and keep jobs, helps employers meet their need for skilled workers and helps Albertans with low income cover their basic costs of living. There are four different components of Alberta Works: Employment and Training Services, Income Support, Child Support Services and Health Benefits (Government of Alberta, Human Services).
ASCHH: Aboriginal Standing Committee on Housing and Homelessness
AISH, Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped: A program that provides financial assistance (living allowance), supplementary assistance (child benefits and personal benefits) and health-related assistance for adult Albertans who have a permanent disability that severely impairs their ability to earn a livelihood (Government of Alberta).
At-Risk of Homelessness: A person or family that is experiencing difficulty maintaining their housing and has no alternatives for obtaining subsequent housing. Circumstances that often contribute to becoming at-risk of homeless include: eviction; loss of income; unaffordable increase in the cost of housing; discharge from an institution without subsequent housing in place; irreparable damage or deterioration to residences; and fleeing from family violence (Systems Planning Framework).
Best Practices: A best practice is an intervention, method or technique that has consistently been proven effective through the most rigorous scientific research (especially conducted by independent researchers) and which has been replicated across several cases or examples.105
CAC: Client Action Committee
Calgary’s Plan, Calgary’s 10YP, Calgary’s Updated Plan, Calgary’s 10 Year Plan or the Plan: Calgary’s 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness (launched in 2008 and updated in 2011 and 2015)
Case management: Case management for ending homelessness is a collaborative community based intervention that places the person at the centre of a holistic model of support necessary to secure housing and provide supports to sustain it while building independence (Case Management Standards of Practice)
CHAC: Community Housing Affordability Collective
CHF: Calgary Homeless Foundation
CHH: Collaborative for Health to Home (formerly Calgary Recovery Services Task Force)
Chronic homelessness: Those who have either been continuously homeless for a year or more, or have had at least four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. In order to be considered chronically homeless, a person must have been sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation (e.g., living on the streets) and/or in an emergency homeless shelter. People experiencing chronic homelessness face long term and ongoing homelessness related to complex and persistent barriers related to health, mental health, and addictions (Systems Planning Framework).
CMA: Census Metropolitan Area
CMHC: Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation
Couch Surfing: Frequently sleeping on friends and/or family’s couches on a regular or intermittent basis, moving from household to household (Plan to End Aboriginal Homelessness in Calgary).
CAA, Coordinated Access and Assessment: A single place or process for people experiencing homelessness to access housing and support services. It is a system-wide program designed to meet the needs of the most vulnerable first and creates a more efficient homeless serving system by helping people move through the system faster, reducing new entries to homelessness, and improving data collection and quality to provide accurate information on client needs (Systems Planning Framework).
Core Housing Need: A household is in core housing need if its housing does not meet one or more of the adequacy, suitability or affordability standards and it would have to spend 30% or more of its before-tax income to access local housing that meets all three standards.
- Adequate housing are reported by their residents as not requiring any major
- Affordable dwellings costs less than 30% of total before-tax household
- Suitable housing has enough bedrooms for the size and make-up of resident households, according to National Occupancy Standard (NOS) requirements (Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation).
CSI, CSI Table: Community Systems Integration Table
Dependent: For the purposes of homeless reporting, a dependent is defined as any person under the age of 18 years for whom the client is responsible (Homelessness Management Information System)
Diversion: the attempt to exhaust all other options prior to shelter admission at the time individuals or families present for shelter (OrgCode).
DV, Domestic violence: the attempt, act, or intent of someone within a relationship, where the relationship is characterized by intimacy, dependency or trust, to intimidate either by threat or by the use of physical force on another person or property. The purpose of the abuse is to control and/or exploit through neglect, intimidation, inducement of fear or by inflicting pain. Abusive behaviour can take many forms including: verbal, physical, sexual, psychological, emotional, spiritual and economic, and the violation of rights. All forms of abusive behaviour are ways in which one human being is trying to have control and/or exploit or have power over another (Government of Alberta, A Framework to End Family Violence in Alberta).
Emergency shelter: Any facility with the primary purpose of providing temporary accommodations and essential services for homeless individuals (Systems Planning Framework).
Episode: An episode of homelessness consists of a minimum of one (1) night of homelessness. Thirty consecutive days of non-homelessness must lapse before a new experience of homelessness is considered to be the start of a new episode of homelessness. Any stays that are separated by less than thirty days are considered to be part of a single episode (Systems Planning Framework).
Episodic homelessness: A person who is homeless for less than a year and has fewer than four episodes of homelessness in the past three years. Typically, those classified as episodically homeless have reoccurring episodes of homelessness as a result of complex issues such as addictions or family violence (Systems Planning Framework).
Evidence-based: First developed in the sphere of medicine, this term is defined as the integration of best practice research evidence within clinical expertise and patient values. In the context of social programs, services and supports, evidence-based refers to the use of high-quality evidence (e.g. randomized control trials) to develop, test, and modify programs and services so that they are achieving intended outcomes (Government of Alberta, Results-Based Budgeting).
Extreme Core Housing Need: refers to extreme housing affordability and very low income issues for households who were earning less than $20,000 per year and paying 50% or more of their income on shelter costs.
Family: In the context of homelessness, those who are homeless and are: parents with minor children; adults with legal custody of children; a couple in which one person is pregnant; multi-generational families; part of an adult interdependent partnership (Systems Planning Framework).
Family violence: the abuse of power within relationships of family, trust or dependency that endangers the survive, security or well-being of another person. It can take many forms including spouse abuse, senior abuse and neglect, child abuse and neglect, child sexual abuse, parent abuse, and witnessing abuse of others in the family. Family violence may include some or all of the following behaviours: physical abuse, psychological abuse, criminal harassment/stalking, verbal abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, and spiritual abuse (Government of Alberta, A Framework to End Family Violence in Alberta).
FCSS, Family and Community Support Services: is a joint municipal-provincial funding program established to support and fund preventive social services. The program, governed by the Family & Community Support Services Act since 1966, emphasizes prevention, volunteerism and enhanced local autonomy. The provincial and municipal governments share the cost of the program. The Province contributes up to 80 per cent of the program cost and the municipality is to cover a minimum of 20 percent. In Calgary, City Council has made a commitment to contribute more than the minimum requirement and allocated 30 per cent of the program cost for the 2012-2014 budget cycle.
FASD: Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder GOA, GoA: Government of Alberta GOC, GoC: Government of Canada
Harm reduction: Refers to policies, programs, and practices that seek to reduce the adverse health, social, and economic consequences of the use of legal and illegal substances and risky sexual activity. Harm reduction is a pragmatic response that focuses on keeping people safe and minimizing death, disease and injury associated with higher risk behavior, while recognizing that the behavior may continue despite the risks (Systems Planning Framework).
HART: Homelessness Risk Assessment Tool
HMIS, Homeless Management Information System: A locally administered, electronic data collection system that stores longitudinal client-level information about persons who access the social service system. Calgary’s HMIS is administered through Bowman Systems ServicePoint software.
Homelessness: Homelessness describes the situation of an individual or family without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination. Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, stressful and distressing.
Homelessness describes a range of housing and shelter circumstances, with people being without any shelter at one end, and being insecurely housed at the other. That is, homelessness encompasses a range of physical living situations, organized here in a typology that includes 1) Unsheltered, or absolutely homeless and living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation; 2) Emergency Sheltered, including those staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence; 3) Provisionally Accommodated, referring to those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure, and finally, 4) At Risk of Homelessness, referring to people who are not homeless, but whose current economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards. It should be noted that for many people homelessness is not a static state but rather a fluid experience, where one’s shelter circumstances and options may shift and change quite dramatically and with frequency.106
Homeless Point-in-Time Count: Point-in-time homeless counts, which have been done in Calgary since 1992. These counts provide a snapshot of the population experiencing homelessness at a point in time. Basic demographic information is collected from emergency shelters and short term housing facilities, and a survey is done with those enumerated through a street count. Public systems, including health and corrections, provide numbers of those without fixed address on the night of the count as well
HSSC: Homeless-Serving System of Care
Housing First, HF: Adopting a Housing First approach means that permanent housing is provided directly from homelessness, along with needed support services, without the requirement of a transition period or of sobriety or abstinence. Support services may include intensive medical, psychiatric and case management services including life skills training, landlord liaison assistance and addictions counseling. Addressing these needs through support services helps people maintain their housing over the long term (Systems Planning Framework).
Indigenous Peoples: Indigenous is a term used to encompass a variety of Aboriginal groups. It is most frequently used in an international, transnational, or global context. This term came into wide usage during the 1970s when Aboriginal groups organized transnationally and pushed for greater presence in the United Nations (UN). In the UN, “Indigenous” is used to refer broadly to peoples of long settlement and connection to specific lands who have been adversely affected by incursions by industrial economies, displacement, and settlement of their traditional territories by others.107
KPI, KPIs: Key Performance Indicator(s)
Length of stay in homelessness: The number of days in a homeless episode. The type of homelessness/shelter situation may vary significantly within the episode (Systems Planning Framework).
LGBTQ2S+: Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, and 2-spirited (LGBTQ2). LGBTQ2 youth experience the additional layer of challenges faced by those with sexual orientations and gender identities that are different from the mainstream. LGBTQ youth are over-represented among the population experiencing homelessness as a result of homophobia and transphobia in the home and across the service and housing systems.108
Market Rent: Market rent means the amount a unit could be rented for on a monthly basis in the private market, based on an appraisal.
Muni: City of Calgary
NSQ: Needs and Services Questionnaire
Negative Reason for Leaving Program: include criminal activity/violence, disagreement with rules/persons, needs could not be met, non-compliance with program, non-payment of rent, reached maximum time allowed, unknown/disappeared, don’t know or declined to answer.
NIMBY: Not in My Back Yard
Non Market Housing: Subsidized, social or affordable housing units.
Occupancy: Represents the number of clients accepted into the housing program, based on Shelter Point. Occupancy does not refer to the number of people housed. For example, scattered-site programs accept clients and then begin the housing search. Thus, clients can be in a program and receiving case management while they remain in homelessness. For full programs, this population represents approximately 20-30% of their occupancy (Systems Planning Framework).
OECD: The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Outreach: Outreach programs provide basic services and referrals to chronically homeless persons living on the streets and can work to engage this population in re-housing (Systems Planning Framework).
PSH, Permanent supportive housing: Long term housing for people experiencing homelessness with deep disabilities (including cognitive disabilities) without a length of stay time limit. Support programs are made available, but the program does not require participation in these services to remain housed (Systems Planning Framework).
PiT Count: Point-in-Time Count (See Homeless Point in Time Count)
Place-based housing: Refers to physical housing with program supports for individuals typically with high acuity (Systems Planning Framework).
Positive reason for Leaving Program: include completed program, left for housing opportunity before completing program or referred to another program.
Prevention: refers to the activities, interventions and planning that prevents individuals and families from experiencing homelessness. Prevention can be broken into three different types:
Primary prevention: Interventions seek to reduce the risk of homelessness among the general population targeting those house in an effort to prevent new cases of homelessness. Measures involve broad hosing policies including supply, accessibility, and affordability, as well as income supports, housing benefits and job protection.
Secondary prevention: Activities seek to identify and address conditions at their earliest stages, such as shelter entry. This includes people leaving institutional care or those in crisis situations including eviction or relationship breakdown, likely to impact homelessness risk. Interventions tend to reduce the total number of people affected at any one time, though they do not reduce the number of new cases of homelessness.
Tertiary prevention: Interventions attempt to slow the progress of or mitigate the negative effects of homelessness once it is established, targeting those who have been homeless for some time. Initiatives focus on harm reduction to minimize repeated homelessness.
Prevention Services: Prevention Services provide short term financial assistance and limited case management in order to prevent housing loss due to a housing crisis.
Rapid rehousing programs: Provide targeted and time-limited financial assistance, system navigation, and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness in order to facilitate their quick exit from shelter and obtain housing (Systems Planning Framework).
Recidivism: The rate in which a client receives a positive housing outcome and returns to shelter or rough sleeping (Systems Planning Framework).
Rehoused: Describes a situation where a client was previously housed in a permanent home and has been placed in a new home while remaining in the same Housing First Program (Government of Alberta, Human Services).
Relative homelessness: Those living in spaces that do not meet the basic health and safety standards including protection from the elements; access to safe water and sanitation; security of tenure and personal safety; affordability; access to employment, education and health care; and the provision of minimum space to avoid overcrowding (Systems Planning Framework).
Rent Supplements: rent supplements assist households in need of affordable housing by providing rent subsidies. Rent supplements have multiple structures: some rent supplements are paid directly to the landlord, and others are paid directly to the tenant; some follow a rent-geared-to-income structure where the supplement “tops up” the amount payable by the tenant to the market rate, and others are a fixed amount. Rent supplements are also sometimes called rent subsidies.
RGI, Rent-Geared-to-Income: refers to a rental structure in which the client pays a rental rate that represents 30% of their income. In some cases, additional rent supplements are used to bridge the gap between the client’s ability to pay and either break-even rents or market rents.
RESOLVE, RESOLVE Campaign: Calgary Collaborative Capital Campaign for Affordable Housing
RTAS: Rehousing Triage and Assessment Survey
Sleeping rough: refers to people who are unsheltered, lacking housing and not accessing emergency shelters or accommodation. In most cases, people sleeping rough are staying in places not designed for or fit for human habitation, including: people living in public or private spaces without consent or contract (public space such as sidewalks, squares, parks or forests; and private space and vacant buildings, including squatting), or in places not intended for permanent human habitation (including cars or other vehicles, garages, attics, closets or buildings not designed for habitation, or in makeshift shelters, shacks or tents).109
Scattered site housing: A housing model that utilizes individual rental units located throughout the community, typically owned by private market landlords. Rent supplements are typically applied.
SPDAT, Service Prioritization Decision Assessment Tool: An assessment tool to determine client placement based on the level of need. The SPDAT looks at the following: self care and daily living skills; meaningful daily activity; social relationships and networks; mental health and wellness; physical health and wellness; substance use; medication; personal administration and money management; personal responsibility and motivation; risk of personal harm or harm to others; interaction with emergency services; involvement with high risk and/or exploitative situations; legal; history of homelessness and housing; and managing tenancy (Systems Planning Framework).
Social Housing: social housing encompasses housing that is made affordable through public and non-profit ownership of rental housing units and subsidies that allow low-income households to access housing in the private market.
Supportive Housing: Supportive Housing provides case management and housing supports to individuals and families who are considered moderate to high acuity. In Supportive Housing programs, the goal for the client is that over time and with case management support, the client(s) will be able to achieve housing stability and independence. While there is no maximum length of stay in Supportive Housing programs, the housing and supports are intended to be non-permanent as the goal is for the client to obtain the skills to live independently, at which point the client will transition out of the program and into the community, where they may be linked with less intensive community-based services or other supports (Systems Planning Framework).
System of care: A local or regional system for helping people who are homeless or at imminent risk of homelessness. A system of care aims to coordinate resources to ensure community level results align with strategic goals and meet client needs effectively. Calgary’s system of care is composed of eight program types: housing loss prevention, coordinated access & assessment, emergency shelter, rapid rehousing, supportive housing, permanent supportive housing, Graduated Rental Assistance Initiative, Affordable Housing (Systems Planning Framework).
System planning: Creating a system of navigation for accessing services from many different agencies, resulting in a system of care (Systems Planning Framework).
Transitional Homelessness: Homeless for the first time (usually for less than three months) or has had less than two episodes in the past three years. The transitionally homeless tend to enter into homelessness as a result of economic or housing challenges and require minimal and one time assistance (Systems Planning Framework).
Triaging: The process for determining the priority of clients based on the severity of their condition (Systems Planning Framework).
YAT: Youth Advisory Table
Youth homelessness: A homeless youth is an unaccompanied person age 24 and under lacking a permanent nighttime residence. They can be living on the street, in shelters, couch surfing, in unsafe and insecure housing, and living in abusive situations. They may also be about to be discharged without the security of a regular residence from a care, correction, health, or any other facility (Systems Planning Framework).