Developed by Raising the Roof, this site makes practical tools and information accessible to the frontline staff, managers and volunteers within the hundreds of organizations across Canada working to address the problem of homelessness in their communities.
The website attracts a wide range of users, including direct service providers, advocacy groups, housing providers, social service planners and policy staff, faith groups, donors, academics, students, and members of the general public. Our aim is to (1) promote and share information across Canada about effective techniques, programs and policies to prevent and reduce homelessness and (2) facilitate networking between agencies, activists, and decision-makers.
In February 2002, Raising the Roof embarked on the Shared Learnings on Homelessness Project, funded the National Homelessness Secretariat (Human Resources Development Canada). To help determine the scope and content of the Shared Learnings project, English and French language surveys were used in outreach to approximately 100 individuals from non-governmental agencies working on homelessness issues or with homeless clientele. Survey respondents included direct service providers and organizations involved in policy and program development. The results shaped the focus of this website and pointed to the need for specific resources that would support the work of staff and volunteers in organizations serving the homeless or working towards reducing and ending homelessness in other ways.
As the site continues to grow, Raising the Roof's goal is to further develop resources which represent the diversity of the homelessness sector (different populations served, variety of needs, diverse approaches to direct service, advocacy, policy formulation, capacity building, and partnership development), as well as the diversity of communities across Canada (large and small, urban and rural, all regions of Canada, and French and English speaking communities).
A six member steering committee comprised of Raising the Roof Board members from across regions of Canada provided overall vision and strategic direction.
Four types of tools are offered through this bilingual, one-stop Web hub:
The Quick Search function allows users to locate information throughout the site using a keyword search or searching by client group, special need, location or key activity.