Downtown Halifax's Navigator Outreach Program
Downtown Halifax's Navigator Outreach Program (DHNOP) offers direct support to the unhoused and precarious housed population in the urban core. This includes, but is not limited to, support finding employment, accessing medication, obtaining identification, providing referrals to appropriate community programs, providing gift cards for specific needs like groceries and proper camping gear, and of course, the big one - finding suitable/affordable housing.
The DHNOP initiative started 14 years ago and is a proud partnership between Downtown Halifax Business Commission and Spring Garden Area Business Association (and receives funding from HRM.)
It's no secret that we have more unhoused people in our province than ever before, and as such, many have found temporary homes in tents throughout Downtown Halifax. Our Program Coordinator works directly with this population.
How can you help? Donate!
We have set-up an online donation page through Square.
All monies raised will be used to cover costs associated with the direct supports the program offers individuals. Things like, NEW outdoor survival gear (tents, tarps, sleeping bags etc.), warm clothes, medications, gift cards for food.
Please note: Because we are a not-for-profit and not a charity, your donation will not warrant a tax receipt, but you will receive a receipt via email.
If you have any general questions please contact our office at 902-423-6658, or by email email@example.com
For media inquires please contact our Communications Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org
To understand the current housing crisis and what is being done by government to-date, you can read our "Lowdown" here.
Other helpful links:
Provincial Government Department of Municipal Affairs & Housing
Other Provincial MLAs
Click here to read Jen Taplin's (Saltwire) latest story on Lucas's "Acts of Kindness".
Click here to listen to Lucas on CBC's Info Morning discuss storm prep for the unhoused before Hurricane Lee/ Friday, September 15, 2023.
Click here to watch Lucas talk to Global TV's Eilish Bonang on August 30, 2023.
Click here for a great story done by CBC Journalist Rebecca Zandbergen explaining the history of social housing in Canada.
For media inquiries please contact DHBC's Communications Manager, email@example.com
Follow our Navigator Twitter page to stay in the loop.
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 "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