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Niagara Assertive Street Outreach Team

About the service 

Niagara’s Assertive Street Outreach (NASO) Team actively engages individuals, across Niagara, experiencing unsheltered homelessness to promote, connect, and coordinate access to the range of supports available across Niagara's Homeless-Serving System, including emergency shelter, housing and support services. 
NASO outreach workers proactively engage and respond to requests in the community for individuals in public spaces, who, for example, may be ‘sleeping rough’ or living outdoors (e.g. sleeping in a car, living in an encampment etc.). Assertive Street Outreach workers are focused on ending the experience of homelessness, particularly for those who would otherwise be underserved in traditional settings. 
Street-based outreach ensures that trained workers respond directly to a person’s needs by bringing coordinated services from across the Homeless-Serving System to the individual, rather than waiting for them to seek services on their own.


Service updates

April 1, 2020 Service contracts with NASO Providers begin
May 14, 2020 Piloted Coordinated Hot Spot Mapping Tool
May 27, 2020 Referrals to NASO available through 2-1-1
June 2, 2020 Expanded Coordinated Hot Spot Mapping Tool


Benefits

These services aim to:

  • Proactively engage with people sleeping rough to facilitate pathways into housing
  • Minimize the harmful effects of rough sleeping while working towards long-term housing solutions
  • Provide standardized intake, triage, and assessment to assess a person’s vulnerability and assist in the identification of appropriate housing resources
  • Deliver case coordination in collaboration with government and non-profit organizations to support those who may be reluctant to access traditional services
  • Provide an intensive and coordinated team approach to identify and work towards personal goals Project

Assertive Street Outreach is a key part of Niagara’s strategy to achieve functional zero chronic homelessness. It is a recognized best practice that supports Niagara’s participation in Built for Zero-Canada, a national collaborative of Canadian communities working together to end chronic homelessness. Link to Built for Zero Canada: https://bfzcanada.ca/


Service Providers

NASO is a Region-funded homelessness service provided to the community through collaboration between the following agencies:  
* Gateway Residential & Community Support Services of Niagara Inc. (in partnership with Southridge Community Church)
* Niagara Resource Service for Youth (The RAFT)  
* Port Colborne Community Association for Resource Extensions (Port Cares) 


Contact

Persons experiencing unsheltered homelessness or a community members who are concerned about someone experiencing unsheltered homelessness can contact the NASO team by calling 2-1-1.

Link to 2-1-1 record https://niagara.cioc.ca/record/NIA1831?Number=59

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