housing first ACT team

Our Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team is the only one in British Columbia operated by a non-profit and takes a Housing First approach to its work based on Pathways to Housing. The idea is simple: Housing First ends homelessness for individuals.

Self-determination, choice, and harm reduction are at the core of this work, which has achieved outstanding success.


To provide trauma informed support and access to housing for folks in the community of their choice while assisting them in achieving their personal recovery goals.


The team supports approximately 90 people with a participant-to-staff ratio of 10:1. These folks have faced homelessness and, in many case, profound poverty, childhood trauma, stigma, mental health challenges and substance use challenges. They are in a place in their life where having access to the team’s resources can provide support for life changes based in equality & self-determination. The ACT team supports people in Vancouver.


The team includes a peer specialist, general practitioner, occupational therapists, trauma and substance use counsellor, psychiatrists, nurses, education and employment specialist, social worker, outreach workers, and Lucy, the dog! Program participants have rent subsidies so they can live in the community of their choice. Staff stay closely involved in challenging and triumphant times.

When things don’t work out in a housing situation or when a participant struggles with their tenancy, we work with them and together learn valuable lessons. We partner with people as they grow and fight for their right to housing throughout our city.

The ACT Team was originally funded by the Mental Health Commission of Canada as part of the ‘At Home/Chez Soi’ research project that ran from 2009 to 2013. The National Film Board of Canada put together a great web documentary of ten stories. You can watch all of them here.



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housing first gave these tenants hope

The Housing First ACT program provides people experiencing homelessness, addiction, and mental illness immediate access to regular, independent homes in the neighbourhood of their choice. Once someone has chosen their home, they receive access to health and support services by the ACT team.

This housing model has seen remarkable success. Here are just a few of the people’s stories.