There’s simply no doubt that the geared-to-income housing at 68 Lindsay Street has been a success, according to a recent report made to council.
Hope Lee, CEO of Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing, reported that their newest building at the corner of Lindsay and Queen Streets has been a success by any commonly used metrics.
The building consists of two city-run buildings sharing a joint foyer. One half of the new building houses municipal offices, while the other half consists of 24 one-bedroom apartments currently housing 26 people. Tenants took occupancy of their apartments in June of 2019.
While there was much controversy when the building first opened, Lee says there are now less people living on the streets.
“There are fewer interactions with emergency services, people feel safer and they feel like they can move on with their lives,” she said in her report to council.
Lee said the primary goal of the facility “is to help people transitioning out of homelessness,” Lee told council, “and was developed in concert with Four Counties Addiction Services to provide residents the supports they need.”
Of the 26 tenants, four are youth, two are seniors and 80 per cent are female, she said. The goal – common to many communities that have successfully dealt with homelessness — is housing first and harm reduction second.
“Our tenants experienced an average of 28 months of homelessness before moving in, with five sleeping outdoors,” Lee said.
Lee said tenants love the building and shared feedback from some of the individuals who highlighted how nice, clean and safe the building was. A number of them also raved about the staff available at the building.
“I really enjoy the staff,” one resident said, “I like having a routine and they help me when I need it.”
Kawartha Lakes Police Service Chief Mark Mitchell is very supportive of the Lindsay Street site, noting that since the tenants have moved in leaving the streets behind that “his officers have reported much more positive interactions with these individuals.”
“We still have 118 households still homeless in Kawartha Lakes and Haliburton, “ Lee reminded council, “and of those 86 require permanent supportive housing much like what is being supplied at 68 Lindsay Street.”
“We know the model works, “Lee concluded, “and we aim to build on its success.”