Resources Exist for Networking and Training (RENT)
Lead Organization: RENT - Resources Exist for Networking and Training
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Serving: Toronto
Why Being a housing worker in the midst of a housing crisis is a difficult job. Orientation to the field, ongoing support, training, and networking with colleagues who are doing the same work in various contexts are essential for a measure of success to be achieved when assisting others to locate and maintain appropriate and affordable housing.
Housing work is constantly changing with the laws and programs of all three levels of government, the housing market, and specific client needs. Sharing information and resources assists housing workers to keep informed in the midst of change.
What The main avenue for communication of RENT activities and between colleagues is www.housingworkers.ca
Who The structure: East York East Toronto Family Resources administers the program. A steering committee of representatives from eight agencies guide the direction of RENT. The eight partners are: Neighbourhood Centre;COSTI (North York Housing Help); Sistering (Hostels to Homes); St. Stephen's Community House (Corner Drop-In); Dixon Hall (Heyworth House); Na Me Res; Genesis Place; and Massey Centre.
The network consists of housing help workers and those in other social service sectors who work daily and directly assisting others to find and maintain appropriate and affordable housing.
How RENT offers monthly training sessions; online networking among colleagues; online discussion area; e-library; training videos to borrow; and a mentoring program.
Results The network keeps growing, reaching outside of the city of Toronto, getting housing workers from various contexts to connect with one another for information, resource sharing, and support.
What's Been Learned Housing help workers have a unique set of required skills and knowledge they must utilize in an environment of constant change. The job becomes less stressful when workers connect with a network of colleagues (from the sector and from other social service sectors) who face issues of housing and homelessness on a daily basis. Within this network, information, resources and issues are shared. Because of the connection between colleagues that do housing help work in various contexts, the collective effort to reduce homelessness becomes as effective as possible.
What Comes Next Strengthening the connections, the support, the network.