Downtown Eastside Case Coordination Project: Moving Hard-to-Employ Individuals from Welfare to Opportunity


The Downtown Eastside (DTES) Case Coordination Project (CCP) represented an innovative approach to providing supports to long-term unemployed residents of the DTES. The aim of the CCP was to explore whether this approach could be used to help long-term unemployed individuals move into work or to become more self-sufficient. The findings from this evaluation suggest that, in order to achieve employment outcomes with individuals experiencing multiple and complex barriers, the underlying issues must be addressed as well as ensuring individuals basic needs are being met. When clients’ health, housing, and related issues were being addressed or managed, clients needed to have the coping skills to enable them to cope with the challenges of everyday life. These findings are indicative rather than conclusive, partly because of the relatively small number of individuals who moved into employment and because of data quality issues that limited analyses. Further research is required to explore whether these findings and the lessons arising from the Case Coordination Project are transferable.