Fraser Health’s Integrated Homelessness Action Response Teams (IHART) are an expansion of the Integrated Response Teams created to serve Emergency Response Centres and Isolation Centres during COVID-19.
They have been expanded to a regional network of multidisciplinary care providers to support the needs of people who are sheltered, unsheltered and living in encampments and select supportive housing environments. IHART teams will use a trauma-informed and recovery-oriented approach to make connections and bring services to people directly. This holistic approach will aim to address concerns important to the person and facilitate their receiving primary care and other specialized support.
The service objectives of IHART include:
- Stabilize and treat chronic health conditions people may experience including mental health and substance use disorders.
- Support people's transitions to new shelter or housing in collaboration with BC Housing and other social sector partners to ensure individuals' health needs are met.
- Support people's stability in their new housing through continuity of care and quick response to escalating or destabilizing health, mental health or substance use concerns.
- Reduce risk of overdose and other serious and life-threatening incidents.
- Address people’s health care concerns directly in their communities to prevent unnecessary visits to emergency departments.
IHART teams will include the following interdisciplinary staff:
- Registered Nurses
- Registered Psychiatric Nurses
- Social Workers
- Health care workers
- Peer support workers
- Indigenous supports
Location of Services
IHART teams will provide service across the Fraser Health Region and will work with local partners to ensure collaboration and integration of services in the community.
The IHART teams now in place are currently supporting Emergency Response Centres and Isolation Centres. As teams grow and increase capacity, they will expand their services to local shelters and encampments. For more details, see our shelter provider information page.