Last year, in June, Medicine Hat became the first city in Canada to "functionally end" chronic homelessness – meaning no more than three individuals faced chronic homelessness for three consecutive months. The key to its success is its data-driven, housing-first approach – homeless people are first provided housing without preconditions, then offered support to address other issues. Since 2009, more than 1,675 people who were homeless or at-risk of being homeless have been housed, including more than 424 children. The Homelessness Management Information System means the city can track clients across agencies. Every community-based organization participates, as do government services, so they can put real-time data in context with overall community trends. The city's 2019 progress report found that while it costs between $12,000-$34,000 annually per individual for housing and support, it can cost up to $120,000 per year per person to provide resources to people on the street.

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