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 Guide
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.
We’ve led workshops in numerous faith communities to help people of faith see where they can be involved. More recent workshops are geared to the larger neighbourhood conversations, engaging community leagues and other lead voices in neighbourhoods around the city.
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.
Interfaith Habitat Builds
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.
Generating Local Community Conversations
In the last few years, CRIHI has come to see another need that we could help address: Community Engagement. When the City of Edmonton and developers would come to a neighbourhood with a new affordable and supportive housing project, the conversation would too often be unhealthy and conflict-oriented. Recently, CRIHI hired a Housing Ambassador who is tasked with the work of going into communities in advance of a major project to start the conversation early; to help the community explore what a healthy and informed conversation would look like, and begin preparing to discuss a new project.
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.