First comes housing

Raincity Housing has put together a series of videos articulating the principles of Housing First. Check them out here.


Housing First is just as it sounds—simple, clear, sensible.

It’s a model for addressing homelessness, where people are provided with permanent homes immediately, with no strings attached, no preconditions for moving in, no hoops to jump through.

Requiring people to pull their lives together before being housed sets them up for failure. How can they be expected to address financial, social, or health problems without a safe and secure home? How can they collect and store the basic necessities of life? How can they avoid the violence that comes with a lack of an independent space to live in?

Given that housing is a foundation for health, it only makes sense that people need housing before other elements of their lives can fall into place.

The Homeless Hub explains Housing First thusly:

People are better able to move forward with their lives if they are first housed. This is as true for people experiencing homelessness and those with mental health and addictions issues as it is for anyone. Housing is provided first and then supports are provided including physical and mental health, education, employment, substance abuse and community connections.

If we want to live in a decent society, everyone needs the dignity of a home.