STEP HomeLogo

STEP Home Program

STEP Home (Supports to End Persistent Homelessness) programs have been operating across Waterloo Region since 2008.  The STEP Home program provides mobile housing support coordination to help people find and keep housing of their choice in a private rental market.  There is a ratio of approximately ten people to each support worker.  The STEP Home program is designed to support people who 1) Have a history of homelessness, 2) Have lived in Waterloo Region for at least one year, 3) Give consent to be added to the PATHS priority list[1] and 4) Have been assessed as having high acuity. Once housing is found, housing support coordination is provided to help people stay housed for at least one year.

Please see our Supportive Housing Brochure for more information about the STEP Home program.

STEP Home support is provided by staff from ten agencies across Waterloo Region.  Currently, a two year pilot project is underway that brings together staff from the four existing STEP Home delivery agencies in Cambridge into a co-located integrated team approach to providing STEP Home supports. This pilot design will be evaluated and will inform the way that STEP Home services are provided in Kitchener and Waterloo.

Key Principles and Practices of the STEP Home Program

  • Serve people from PATHS priority list

  • Use a progressive engagement approach with a focus on "doing with" rather than "doing for"

  • Apply Housing First principles:

    • Immediate access to housing with no readiness conditions
    • Consumer choice and self-determination
    • Recovery orientation
    • Individualized and person-driven supports
    • Social community Integration

How to Access the STEP Home Program

STEP Home and CHPI Supportive Housing are accessed through the Region of Waterloo's Prioritized Access to Housing Support (PATHS) coordinated access process.  Assessment for eligibility and referral to the PATHS priority list can be made through Lutherwood's Housing Resource Centres 8:30am to 4:30pm:

Kitchener: 41 Weber Street West (Phone 519-749-245). Cambridge: 35 Dickson Street (Phone 519-623-9383).

Please see our Supportive Housing Brochure for more information about the program and how to apply.

Need Other Help with Housing

If you need help exploring options for more immediate housing needs, please contact Lutherwood Housing Resource Centres (41 Weber Street West in Kitchener, and 35 Dickson Street in Cambridge) or make use of the many interactive resources available through the Region of Waterloo Renter's Toolkit.

If you are seeking affordable housing (without support) please contact the Region of Waterloo Community Housing Access Centre (CHAC); 235 King St. E, 6th floor, Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30pm. (Phone 519-575-4400) For more information visit: Affordable Community Housing.

Opportunity to provide feedback to the development of a STEP Home and Housing Help Plus Framework

During the summer of 2017, Region of Waterloo is developing a framework for the STEP Home and Housing Help Plus programs.  If you would like to provide your input into how you think these programs should be structured in Waterloo Region, please complete this feedback form or contact Pat Fisher; Email: Phone: 519-575-4400 extension 4673 TTY: 519-575-4608 to learn about other ways you can provide input.

[1] The PATHS priority list is a waiting list that is organized based on priority; so that people who have the highest support needs and the longest experience of homelessness are the first to be offered support.  Immediate access to supportive housing is not available through PATHS.  There is currently more need for these supports than resources available.  .


Check out the video below about the programs offered under the STEP Home umbrella.

Full Version (15 minutes)


Watch the shorter version (8 minutes) of the video on YouTube.