/Homelessness count to get underway 

Homelessness count to get underway 

By Chad Ingram

The City of Kawartha Lakes which is the social and housing services provider for both the City and
the County of Haliburton is joining the 20000 Homes Campaign a program that aims to house 20000 of Canada's most vulnerable homeless people by July 1 2018.

That process will involve undertaking a homelessness count in both municipalities beginning this year.

There are various categories of homelessness from the unsheltered – people living out on the street or in places not designed for human habitation – to the emergency sheltered to the provisionally
accommodated – those who have found temporary lodging with others.

“If you asked me today to tell you how many are in each of the homelessness categories I couldn't”
Hope Lee manager of housing for the City of Kawartha Lakes told county councillors during a March
23 meeting. “That's why it's important to do the count.”

The goal locally is to house 24 vulnerable people through a Housing First program by July 1 2018.

Housing First advocates a recovery-oriented approach to homelessness that places people in
independent and permanent housing as soon as possible which differs from other models where
homeless people with mental health or addiction issues may have to successfully complete treatment
for those issues before being admitted into housing.
It has its roots in 1970s Toronto.

A Housing First working group began meeting earlier this year and is working on a local definition of
homelessness is planning and will implement the local homelessness count and will research plan and implement a local Housing First program.
The working group includes representatives from local women's shelters Haliburton Highlands Health
Services and Ross Memorial Hospital the health unit the United Way and the Kawartha Lakes-
Haliburton Housing Corporation among other groups.
There is financial support through the Central East Local Health Integration Network and Lee told
councillors there is funding available through various provincial programs including rent supplements
for landlords.

The program does not require additional financial support from the municipalities.

“Certainly with the City of Kawartha Lakes Peterborough our local neighbours supporting this
supporting this puts us in line with them” said Minden Hills Reeve Brent Devolin. “I think this is the
logical progression.”