A disproportionate number of individuals who are homeless are Aboriginal, and outreach workers have indicated it is necessary to address this in a way that recognizes their unique cultural and social needs. The Aboriginal Homeless Outreach Program aims to reduce the number of Aboriginals who are homeless by providing direct access to immediate housing with linkages to the necessary support services to address the individual’s housing, health, and cultural needs.
The program provides outreach services for chronically homeless, urban and rural Aboriginals who are living off-reserve. In particular, the program focuses on individuals who are street entrenched or who have been homeless for longer periods of time.
The Vancouver Aboriginal Transformative Justice Services Program provides alternative measures (adult) and extrajudicial sanctions measures (youth) to Aboriginal people residing in the Metro Vancouver area.
The main objectives of the program is to offer a restorative justice process which focuses on repairing relationships among those affected by crime - the victim, the offender, their families, and the community - and to empower individuals to formulate appropriate responses and strategies to deal with the crime and participate directly in processes that affect the overall well-being of the community.
To accomplish these objectives, the Society utilizes a community council forum made up of volunteers, an Elder, the victim and offender and their support people to discuss the offence, its effects, and the causes of the behaviour that led to the offence. At the conclusion of the forum, a healing plan is developed with the goal of making amends and positively reintegrating the offender into the community. The healing plan is tailored to the needs and circumstances of the offender consisting of various options such as A&D counseling, employment training, community service, housing needs, etc.