Kawartha Lakes' Finest Magazine

Chronic homelessness dramatically reduced in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton

in Community/Municipal/Social Issues by

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness has announced that the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton have marked a 51 per cent reduction in chronic homelessness since August 2018. Currently, Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton are one of the two communities “in the last mile” and are being recognized at the ‘Built for Zero’ press conference in Toronto for showing that they are projected to reach “functional zero” on chronic homelessness within the next 12 months or less.

“Functional zero” means that the City and County will have three or less people experiencing chronic homelessness over three consecutive months. Chronic homelessness is when an individual has been experiencing homelessness for six months within the last year.

“The commitment and work around supporting the most vulnerable in our community is providing an opportunity to ensure that our resources are being used effectively to make a difference in the lives of those who would have otherwise fallen through the cracks of the system,” says Michelle Corley of the Housing Help Division of the City of Kawartha Lakes.

Since 2016, the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton have been involved with the 20,000 Homes Campaign, a program that works to house Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people. The program included initiatives such as Registry Week, which identified people experiencing chronic homelessness throughout Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton in an effort to recognize and learn about their needs.

In the City’s 2018 Registry Week Final Report, 60 individuals and 15 families were identified as homeless. The Homeless Coordinated Entry System work has continued, where individuals or families experiencing homelessness are added to a by-name-list that prioritizes the most vulnerable and matches them to appropriate housing and supports.

Today the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness launches a new national effort to end chronic homelessness after its 20,000 Homes Campaign successfully housed 21, 254 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people. They are now called Built for Zero Canada.

Built for Zero Canada is an ambitious national change effort helping a core group of leading communities end chronic homelessness – a first step on the path to eliminating all homelessness in Canada. BFZ-C uses a structured, supportive and data-driven approach that focuses on optimizing local homeless systems, accelerating the adoption of proven practices and driving continuous improvement

“The resources and expertise we have available at our fingertips from the Built for Zero Canada campaign (formerly 20,000 Homes) have been great. But also the peer support, the knowledge and experience sharing from other communities has been and continues to be a huge support for us,” adds Corley.

Along with the County of Haliburton, the City of Kawartha Lakes is part of the Kawartha-Haliburton Built for Zero Campaign, and have locally set a goal to end chronic homelessness by 2020. The City strives to create a community that prioritizes housing services, improves access to affordable housing and assists families and individuals experiencing homelessness.

To read more about the Built for Zero Campaign and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, visit their website. To learn more about how the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton are working to end homelessness, visit the Housing Help page on the City’s website or view the 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.

1 Comment

  1. My son has Schizophrenia and is homeless. I can’t believe this is happening in this affluent country. There is housing shortage all over Canada. Whatever housing is available, greedy landlords have hiked the rents so high that people like my son can never afford it. Because landlords can pick and choose so discriminately, people like my son don’t stand a chance to live in their dwellings. They secretly discriminate against his illness, his means of financial support, even the fact that he’s Male.

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