Senior Services that Support Housing First in Metro Vancouver

Sarah L. Canham (Lead / Corresponding author), Lupin Battersby, Mei Lan Fang, Mineko Wada, Rebecca Barnes, Andrew Sixsmith

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)


    Housing First is a model and philosophy for housing homeless people in immediate and permanent housing. In order to implement and deliver Housing First, research is essential to understand the system of support services as they currently exist. Guided by principles of community-based participatory research, this paper presents the findings from a senior-focused deliberative dialogue workshop in Metro Vancouver, Canada. Participants (16 service providers and 1 service recipient) identified services and resources available to support seniors in maintaining housing and barriers and facilitators for accessing services. Broadly, data were organized into seven themes: (1) Housing; (2) Home support; (3) Transportation; (4) Information availability, accessibility, and navigation; (5) Cultural diversity; (6) Discrimination; and (7) Funding and financial support. Results found that affordable housing that adapts to changing health conditions, income supports, health services, homecare, transportation, and culturally appropriate and nondiscriminatory informational resources are among the supports most needed for persons as young as 50 years old to succeed under the Housing First model in Metro Vancouver. Barriers to Housing First service provision, including rigid eligibility criteria for chronically and episodically homeless, should be revised to better support the growing number of older adults who are newly entering homelessness in Metro Vancouver.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)104-125
    Number of pages22
    JournalJournal of Gerontological Social Work
    Issue number1
    Early online date21 Nov 2017
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • community-based service providers/systems
    • health services
    • Homelessness
    • housing
    • social services

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
    • Nursing (miscellaneous)


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