Despite the services available to them, those who are homeless find it extremely difficult to move permanently out of shelters into stable, long-term housing.
The November 2012 issue of Policy Options profiled SEDI’s Independent Living Account program, which has supported 350 individuals from eight Toronto transitional housing facilities. Over 300 of them have opened bank accounts, and collectively they have saved over $100,000. Nearly 150 participants have graduated from the program and moved into permanent housing.
The secret to the ILA’s success is its holistic approach to the financial needs of shelter residents. The program looks beyond minimum income needs to address the critical role that savings and saving behaviour plays in providing people with a financial safety cushion for emergencies and periods of transition, enabling them to invest in their own future.
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