Since it’s inception, The Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative (CRIHI) has been working to encourage communities and people of faith to get involved in our collective work of ending homelessness in the Edmonton region.
Here’s a summary of the main projects we have on the go:
Our Action Guides
A resource for faith gatherings and communities alike; this booklet is full of practical tips to help people become informed and get involved in tangible, practical ways in the work of confronting homelessness and extreme poverty here in Edmonton.
2017 Action Guide: End Poverty Action Guide
2015 Action Guide: Congregational Housing Guide
Education and Advocacy
We’ve led workshops and educational events in faith communities of many kinds to help people of faith see where they can be involved. We host participatory public conversations around matters of importance related to housing and homelessness, and we educate for solutions. What we learn and teach is distributed via our e-newsletter: the Neighbourly, via our website, and via facebook, twitter and linked-in. We also bring what we learn to our political leaders in all three levels of government in support of meaningful and effective help for our most vulnerable.
The TogetherWise Program
Quality consultations make for strong and successful affordable and supportive housing facilities. It also serves to create a welcoming space for new neighbours—many of whom are hungry for warmth and connection in their new home. Designed in 2019 by Interfaith Housing, the TogetherWise program helps promote and support a good process for both the developer and the local community.
See more at: www.togetherwiseconsulting.ca
Supporting Local Interfaith Networks
Interfaith Housing supports local gatherings of faith leaders to do the following:
Meet together regularly in order to facilitate a journey of learning and engagement in their local setting. (ideally taking turns hosting in different spaces to encourage greater ownership and equal buy-in)
Learn together by engaging with local social workers and community leaders to understand the needs and dynamics of the local community.
Work together in responding to local needs. That work may take some of the following directions, some of which will be suggested by CRIHI in our role as a support.
In 2019 Interfaith Housing began investing in local interfaith networks on Edmonton’s south side, but hopes to be able to eventually support networks across the Edmonton area.
Early on, we learned that one of the biggest challenges experienced by a newly-housed person or family is isolation. Many have burned bridges with natural supports over the years, and the only community they know may be others living on the street. So we helped develop Welcome Home as a program to support volunteers in the work of befriending and providing caring relationship. Staff support and resources for this program are provided by our partner, Catholic Social Services.
Access the program at: https://www.cssalberta.ca/Our-Services/Welcome-Home
Interfaith Habitat Works Project
Our partner, Habitat for Humanity has been providing affordable housing around the world for many years. Capital Region Interfaith Housing Initiative has helped rally diverse faith communities to work together on a major Habitat project each year. It’s been a rewarding experience for everyone who has participated.
To connect with this year’s project, visit: https://www.hfh.org/interfaith/
Our Steering Committee
Our leadership body comprises people of faith from a variety of traditions, including Muslim, Jewish, Unitarian and Christian groups. The Steering Committee works with numerous partners across the city to advocate for constructive and effective solutions, and to provide resources, information and opportunity for engagement in the work of tackling extreme poverty and homelessness.