RMWB: Tawâw project creates tri-party partnership to provide Indigenous housing
Council of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo allocated more than $1.1 million from the 2020-2021 Community Plan on Homelessness (CPH) to Wood Buffalo Wellness Society for the Tawâw project, a tri-party partnership between Wood Buffalo Wellness Society (WBWS), McMurray Métis and Wood Buffalo Housing (WBH) to create access to 22 beds for homeless Indigenous individuals and families. The funding was received from the Federal government as part of the second round of COVID-19 funding for the Reaching Home initiative.
Tawâw Housing First Partnership
The Tawâw (pronounced ta-WOW in Cree, meaning “come in,” “welcome”) Housing First Partnership is an innovative collaboration drawing upon the expertise, experience and networks of three established community organizations to create rapid access to 22 beds for homeless Indigenous individuals and families. The project will convert units owned by WBH into transitional and supportive housing spaces. Services will also be clustered under the leadership of McMurray Métis and the WBWS to serve residents. As self-sufficiency is achieved, residents will transition to other nearby WBH units, but will remain members of the community as they continue to draw upon services and support others on the path to self-sufficiency.
Quote from Mayor Don Scott
“The Tawâw project unites three key community organizations in an effort to tackle homelessness. I want to thank our partners for coming together to develop a program that will keep our most vulnerable population safe during this pandemic while bringing us closer to achieving our goal to eliminate chronic homelessness in our region.”
Quote from Joy Flett, Chair of Homelessness Initiatives Strategic Committee
“The Tawâw Housing First Partnership brings together expertise and resources from three established organizations to create a unique, culturally sensitive environment to assist residents transitioning from lives of addiction, intergenerational trauma, impaired educational and employment outcomes, marginalization and hopelessness into a place of support, dignity, structure, community and cultural pride. By combining housing and services in one space, the project will help individuals and families achieve self-sufficiency.”
Reaching Home initiative
The Reaching Home initiative is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness. It provides direct funding to communities across Canada to support their efforts in developing local solutions to homelessness.
Homelessness in RMWB during the pandemic
During the pandemic, agencies that receive funding from the Community Plan on Homelessness housed a total of 85 individuals, an increase of 56 per cent from last fiscal year. Since May 2020, CPH programs have led to a 10 per cent reduction in chronic homelessness. As of December 10, 2020, there are 51 individuals awaiting placement in a housing program with 32 of those individuals identifying as Indigenous.
Visit our website for more information on housing and homelessness in our region.
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