Navigator Street Outreach

Navigator Street Outreach (NSO) 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. NSO partners with a variety of community agencies to ensure effective service delivery to the clients they work with. 

For more information, please contact Eric Jonsson, Program Coordinator, Navigator Street Outreach Program, at eric@downtownhalifax.ca or (902) 209-6517.

Outreach: 

The Navigator Street Outreach Program is primarily an outreach service that is built on the belief that everyone should have equal access to social services. The mission of the NSO 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. The Navigator interacts with people on the streets and in the places where they frequent. From April 1, 2021, to March 31, 2022, the Nagivator supported 229 individuals.

Housing Support

NSO 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. The 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.

Employment Support

Where individuals are motivated and assessed to be job-ready, NSO is 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.

Identification Support 

NSO 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.

Point in Time Count 

Every 2 years, the federal government mandates that cities that receive federal funding for homelessness, conduct a survey, and count of the number of people experiencing homelessness on one day. This is called the Point in Time (PiT) count, and this year the Navigator Program was  awarded the contract for the PiT count. This allowed us to get quality data on the state of homelessness in Halifax which can be fond here.

Medication Support

NSO works with all appropriate parties to help individuals apply for assistance, pharmacare, and other programs that ensure they get the medication and support they need.

Phone Support

From obtaining a cell phone to accessing a landline, or adding minutes to an existing phone, NSO helps people make necessary connectoins via phone. 

Community Partners:

NSO 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
Connections Clubhouse
Direction 180
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
Medavie
Halifax Regional Police
Salvation Army
Metro Works
Safety First
Welcome Housing
Phoenix for Youth
United Way
Saint Vincent de Paul Society
North End Downtown Dartmouth Navigator
North End Community Health Centre
Out of the Cold Community Association 
The Ark
The Public Good Society 
St. Luke's Freedom Renewal Centre