From left: Jan Richardson, manager, Homelessness Prevention, City of London; Dr. Cheryl Forchuk, assistant scientific director at Lawson, and professor of Nursing at Western University; Gordon Russell, director of shelters at Mission Services of London; and Peter Rozeluk, executive director at Mission Services of London gather to share the results of the Prevention of Homelessness Among Families (PHAF) project. (Photo courtesy of the Lawson Health Research Institute)

Program To Prevent Family Homelessness A Success

A recent study has proven that a pilot program aimed at preventing family homelessness in London has been very effective.

The Prevention of Homelessness Among Families (PHAF) project utilized at Rotholme Women’s and Family Shelter works with families to help maintain stable housing prior to eviction. Families at risk of losing their homes who contact the shelter are immediately connected with a housing crisis worker.

Lawson Health Research Institute, Western University, the City of London, and Mission Services of London, Ontario partnered to assess the effectiveness of the pilot program. A study showed that a low percentage of families ended up in the shelter if they contacted the shelter first to utilize the program. As well, up to 90% of the families who were a part of the program were known to still have housing 18 months later.

Researchers determined the results by assessing administrative shelter data, interviewing parents who participated in the program, and conducted focus groups with staff and families who did not access the program.

The PHAF project received $134,000 in funding from the Ontario government’s Local Poverty Reduction Fund.