Huge success: Majority of Urban Haven Project men find homes
LONDON, ONT. -- The founder of the Urban Haven Project is calling his three-month homeless housing program a success.
Pastor Dan Morand of Beth Emanuel Church says the program got off to a rocky start with insurance and tent issues, but finished strong with 90 per cent of the men finding permanent housing.
From January to April, the church housed a total of 22 men.
"It really showed us a face of homelessness," says Morand.
Twenty of those 22 men were able to secure housing at the beginning of April with either apartments, rooms or going back to family.
One of those was Raymond David, who we spoke with on CTV News in February.
"Ray was our oldest member," adds Morand. "Nearing the end of the term we were worried he wouldn't find housing. The problem with the London market, is that big Toronto companies handle applications. He had money in the bank, but kept getting turned down because of past credit stuff."
Morand says they went the private route, and David has been in a nice place in Wortley Village for almost two weeks.
The program was able to finish its full term, but it required the men to be in isolation during the final week.
One third of them secured full-time work this month, with some in carpentry, electrical and even a registered nurse.
Poverty advocates like London's Homeless Helpers says judging by the success of the Urban Haven Project, there was a need to help these men get a push in the right direction.
"Certain people need that structure and to be held accountable for their actions," says Misty Craig, of the Homeless Helpers.
"The programs, and to be required to be in a certain place at a certain time - Dan knew what he was doing."
Craig was able to help refer men to the program, and even give housing contacts, "When you have someone like Dan advocating for these people it goes a long way," says Craig.
"He can say that, 'This guy has followed rules, been in a program, and got work.' That makes people believe they can trust him, and it opens more doors literally."
With extra time his hands, Morand is exploring what this program could look like on a full-time basis.
"They are still out there, and a lot are falling through the cracks," says Morand. "A little help and push will help them be successful and get off the street."