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Community Services

Everyone has a right to a place to call home. Housing First and Rapid Re-housing is an approach that centers on providing individuals and families who are homeless with support services to help them find and maintain a home. The goal is to help people become better able to keep themselves safe and healthy by providing supports over a period of time.



To be part of the program an individual or family must be homeless, and living in a shelter, on the streets, in an unsafe living living envirnoment or at risk of homelessness. Anyone in our region who has been living in Alberta for three month, is a Canadian Citizen/Permanent Resident, and is 18 years of age and who is homeless or at risk if homelessness is eligible to apply for the Housing First Program.


Our Centralized Intake Workers will sit with the applicant and complete a screening interview to determine suitability. If they qualify for the Housing First Program, and as spaces become available, they will be transferred to one of the Housing First partner Agencies for assistance in getting housed and for ongoing case management or transferred to one of our Case Managers.


The partnering agencies are: Salvation Army, Centre of Hope and YMCA of Fort McMurray. If they do not meet the qualifications for either Housing First or Rapid Re-housing, they will be offered outreach assistance in addressing the barriers leading to their homelessness.


Centralized Intake Workers also work with the WBWS Outreach Worker to connect with clients in community shelters and drop in centres. Housing First clients range from sing mothers transitioning to a new life, families experiencing job loss and the chronic homeless that have slept on the street for numerous years

Housing First

The Housing First program serves individuals, couples and families who are experiencing chronic homelessness. Housing Firsthas no “readiness requirements” but is focused on getting people into housing and out of shelters as quickly as possible. People who are eligible for Housing First are determined to have higher needs and the timeline for support is generally longer than Rapid Re-housing.

The WBWS Housing First Program consists of two caseworkers providing 12+ months of intensive case management within the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo. Financial support is given through rental supplements and resources are available to rectify outstanding barriers that are deemed an impediment to securing housing.
Active participation in the program in mandatory with all participants working with their Case Worker on self-determined goals to maintain permanent housing and autonomy. Clients are screened through Centralized Intake for Program suitability.

Image by OC Gonzalez
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