Downtown Halifax's Navigator Outreach Program
Downtown Halifax's Navigator Outreach Program offers direct support to homeless and street-involved individuals. This includes, but is not limited to support in: finding housing, employment, medication access, obtaining identification, and providing referrals to appropriate community programs. The initiative, entering its 14th year, is a partnership between DHBC and Spring Garden Area Business Association and also receives funding from HRM.
For more information, please contact Eric Jonsson, Program Coordinator, Navigator Outreach Program, at email@example.com or (902) 209-6517.
Follow our Navigator Twitter page to stay in the loop.
Read our latest report "Semi-annual count of people sleeping outside in HRM."
Data and Statistics
We partner with a variety of community agencies to ensure effective service delivery to the clients they work with. An example of this partnership is seen with the latest "Semi-annual count of people sleeping outside in HRM" released on December 6, 2022.
Point-in-Time Count - Every 2 years, the federal government mandates that cities who receive federal funding for homelessness conduct a survey and count of the number of people experiencing homelessness in one day. This is called the Point-in-Time (PiT) Count. The Navigator Program was awarded the contract for the 2022 PiT Count. This allowed us to get quality data on the state of homelessness in Halifax, which can be found here.
Downtown Halifax's Navigator Outreach Program is primarily an outreach service that is built on the belief that everyone should have equal access to social services. Our mission is to support the homeless and street involved community to address barriers in accessing housing, education, employment, mental health supports, addictions treatment, social programs, and health care. Our Navigator interacts with people on the streets and in the places where they frequent. From April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, the Navigator supported 229 individuals.
The program offers housing and eviction prevention support to individuals and families across HRM. They provide individualized support to address barriers to securing and maintaining housing. Individuals receive help with housing searches, damage deposits, identification, power and phone arrears, rental arrears, transportation to viewings, securing funding and references. Many individuals approached during outreach are not able to secure employment or housing. Often, difficult behaviours create too big a barrier. Our Navigator provides support to these individuals as they attempt to navigate various systems, and advocates for specific services, including addictions services, mental health supports, income assistance, legal/justice. The Navigator often accompanies individuals to appointments to ensure their attempts to access services are smooth and issue-free.
Where individuals are motivated and assessed to be job-ready, we're able to offer key supports to assist them in securing and maintaining employment. This support ranges from providing bus tickets to course enrollments, providing basic work tools, clothing or specialized equipment (steel-toed boots, anti-skid shoes) and more. Some individuals may also be offered assistance to return to their home community, or relocate to another city if they have secured full-time employment.
Our program helps individuals obtain or replace their identification records in order to apply for work, open bank account, cash cheques, etc. Identification clinics are held on a monthly basis at the Halifax Central Library and Access Nova Scotia are key partners in assisting these efforts.
We work with all appropriate parties to help individuals apply for assistance, Pharmacare, and other programs that ensure they get the medication and support they need.
From obtaining a cell phone to accessing a landline, or adding minutes to an existing phone, we're here to help people make necessary connections via phone.
Downtown Halifax's Navigator Outreach Program has continued to partner with different community organizations to ensure effective service delivery to the people we work with. These community partners include:
Access Nova Scotia
Adsum for Women & Children
Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia
Department of Community Services
Department of Justice
Dalhousie Social Work Clinic
Dalhousie Legal Aid
St. Mary’s Basilica – Our Daily Bread Outreach
Shelter Nova Scotia
Halifax Public Libraries
Halifax Regional Municipality
Mi’kmaw Native Friendship Centre
Mainline Needle Exchange
Halifax Regional Police
Phoenix for Youth
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
North End Downtown Dartmouth Navigator
North End Community Health Centre
Out of the Cold Community Association
The Public Good Society
St. Luke's Freedom Renewal Centre