An Idea Is Born
Originally called “Supportive Transitional Housing Team”, STHT was established in July 2002 as a response to the need for agency coordination in providing advocacy and support to ‘hard to house clients’ seeking appropriate housing. A Fort McMurray Judge at the time, challenged agencies to work together and help individuals in need of chronic support services, attain and maintain housing to the greatest level of independence.
The STHT Program Manager was initially housed at the Fort McMurray Association for Community Living (FMACL). The Founding Agencies that provided the wraparound support to clients were:
1. Alberta Human Resources and Employment (Alberta Human Services)
2. Family & Community Support Services (RMWB)
3. Fort McMurray Family Crisis Society (now Waypoints)
4. Fort McMurray Association for Community Living
5. Pastew Place Detox Centre
6. Salvation Army Community Service Center
Centennial House Opens
Wood Buffalo Housing and Development Corporation was, and still is a vital partner of the STHT. Recognizing some clients needed a more structured environment to maintain housing and health, Wood Buffalo Housing and STHT partnered to open Centennial House in 2005. Centennial House is a 7-unit building owned by Wood Buffalo Housing Corporation, while STHT operates programming for tenants. Clients are accepted into Centennial House if the Agency Team see the benefit to the client living in a supportive building. Clients must also commit to the health and safety guidelines when living there (no alcohol or drugs permitted on the property, no loud parties, and guests must be approved). These measures, along with access to security, ensures STHT clients can feel safe in their home.
STHT work was recognized in 2006, when it was awarded the Minister’s Award of Merit for Community Partnership.
In 2009, STHT underwent many changes:
In 2016, after the Fort McMurray wildfire, STHT expanded its programming in response to the increase in community needs for services. Between 2016 and 2018, STHT client referrals doubled, leading to the development of an Outreach Program. Whether clients are couch-surfing or staying at shelters, our Outreach Worker meets one-on-one with each client to gain an understanding of their barriers to housing, and determine action steps to address these barriers. Clients are guided to set personal goals towards health and self-sufficiency, and given the resources necessary to take action.
Today, STHT continues to provide wrap-around support with a team of agencies to individuals with barriers to housing. We focus on reaching individuals who are at-risk of homelessness, or currently homeless and want to make significant changes to their lives, but lack the resources or self-confidence to start. Our client-centred approach and intensive case management means that clients do not have to struggle alone.
Vision & Mission
Individuals and families are healthy, have a sense of belonging, opportunities for self-development, and a place to call home in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
The Support Through Housing Team provides consistent support, wrap-around services, collaborative case management, and life skills to individuals and families in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo.
The Support Through Housing Team is possible only through our committed community partners and their dedicated representatives that meet each month to work towards tangible solutions, enabling our clients to break through their barriers to successful housing.
Once a client is referred to STHT, by either self-referral or through a community agency, the information is brought to the Agency Team at our monthly meetings. The 12 Agencies around the table discuss whether the prospective client is a good fit for the STHT program, or if another program in the community may serve them better. If approved by the Team, the client will meet with the STHT Coordinator and Life Skills Coach to create a tailored service plan addressing the client’s goals through specific tasks or actions. This service plan can be changed along the way as independence increases and as goals are achieved.
Our Agency Team Includes:
Declaration of Values
We sincerely believe that:
· Every STHT client has the ability to succeed
· Every Team members possesses skills and knowledge that can contribute to the success of every STHT client
· Clients require an individualized approach to accomplish their own goals
· STHT operates with utmost integrity and professionalism maintaining the clients' confidentiality, dignity, and self-worth
STHT Client Bill Of Rights
It is the right of the STHT Client to……
· Be welcomed, accepted and respected as an individual
· Have his/her skills acknowledged
· Set his/her individual goals
· Anticipate the achievement of realistic expectations
· Make his/her own choices with regards to his/her Service Plan
· Work toward the ultimate goal of independence
As with all rights, being an STHT Client comes with responsibility.
Clients are expected to be punctual for appointments and to work
towards goals as agreed upon in the Service Plan.