Housing Services Participant Handbook
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Housing Services Participant Handbook

Welcome to Lutherwood's Housing Services.

Our Housing Services team is working to reduce and prevent homelessness in Waterloo Region. We do this by focusing on each individual and their situation to help us provide the highest level of service possible.

We help families, couples and individuals aged 16 years or older to find and maintain affordable housing. This can include a meeting with a Housing Advisor who can assess your needs to housing stability services including support to maintain and secure new housing through loan or grant options. Visit one of our Housing Resource Centers and Housing Support Drop-in Services pages to learn more.

Our Families in Transition team is a single access point for families who are seeking emergency shelter in Waterloo Region. Our FIT Counsellors will assess your eligibility, strengths and needs so that we can offer individualized resources and supports. Visit our Families in Transition page to learn more.

Behind the scenes, we have two teams working with individuals experiencing chronic Homelessness in Waterloo Region who have a greater depth of need. The Prioritized Access to Housing Support (PATHS) team works with local housing stability system partners and others to provide coordinated access prioritizing housing offers and connecting participants to housing. Once housed, our Home-Based Service (HBS) team works intensively with individuals to help them maintain housing. Visit our PATHS2Home page to learn more.

Click here to download a printable PDF version of this Housing Services Participant Handbook

Your Rights

While receiving service through Lutherwood, every participant has rights. Your participation is protected by the Ontario Human Rights Code and the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Your rights with regard to participating in Lutherwood’s programs and services will be reviewed with you during the intake process. These rights include:

  1. You must recognize that service is voluntary and that you give consent to the service. Consent means that you clearly understand all aspects of the service.
  2. You have the right to be informed of any information, decisions and actions that will affect you.
  3. You have the right to participate in all decision making relevant to you.
  4. You have the right to review and, if necessary, correct Agency information in the file/record.

Your Responsibilities

The following is a list of expectations for those participating in our programs that will help you to get the most out of your experience:

  • Let us know your needs in the most accurate and complete way possible so we can provide the most appropriate service options.
  • Be respectful of other participants, volunteers, students, staff and property.
  • Contact us when unable to keep appointments or of any change of address or other information relevant to service.
  • Inform us of health and safety concerns and any accommodation required.
  • Provide feedback on services and programs.
  • Observe the terms of the service agreement.

Before participating in our services, you will sign a Service Agreement. Our services are voluntary and the decision to participate is up to you. Signing the Service Agreement confirms that you wish service from Lutherwood and that you understand the agreement.

The service agreement clearly outlines what things Lutherwood is responsible for and committed to provide. As well, the agreement outlines your responsibilities.

Both you and Lutherwood will be working together to make this service work. You can review this service agreement at any time and ask for changes. However, some areas, such as confidentiality or duty to report cannot be changed

If you decide that you no longer wish to receive services, you can end your participation and your Service Agreement with us any time. If we notice that you are having trouble participating, we will try to work with you resolve and issues or barriers that might be making it difficult for you. In some cases, we may need to end service with you but are always open to starting again once you are ready.

When you enter one of our programs, we start a file. We only collect information necessary to provide service and to support you.

To provide housing services for you, we need to collect practical and personal information about you. We ask for information about your current and past housing and health story. We use this information for the purpose of understanding your needs, making sure you get the right service to find and/or maintain housing and connecting you with community resources as needed

We are funded through the Region of Waterloo to offer these services in our community. As our funders, they have access to all the personal information you share with us to ensure your eligibility for the programs and to hold us accountable for delivering quality services.

Your information is stored in a shared data base that is viewable by other housing sector service providers who are also funded through the Region of Waterloo. The purpose of this shared database is to minimize how often you repeat your story through your housing journey and so those working with you can assure that all services are well coordinated to best meet your needs.

Lutherwood is committed to protecting the privacy of the personal information of its clients. You can learn more about your Client Records and our Privacy Policies on our Privacy and Confidentiality page.

There are benefits and possible risks that you and/or your family may experience while participating in Housing Services at Lutherwood. For example working with Housing staff may at times increase your focus on issues that are challenging or seem overwhelming. However, it is also our experience that this is a unique opportunity to set goals, learn more about community supports and services and meet personal aspirations with the support of your worker.

If you have concerns and feel that they are not being addressed, we want to know and are committed to resolving all complaints through the Client Complaint Procedure.

Our housing programs are expanding with culturally aware staff and we continually educate ourselves on the diverse needs of our community. We invite you to read more about Lutherwood, our Mission, Vision and Values, and our commitment to Anti-Racism and Land-Acknowledgement throughout our website.

Our tagline is our commitment to you: Caring People. Strengthening Lives.