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A Place Called Home

Pandemic shows true picture of homelessness in Kawartha Lakes

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Pandemic shows true picture of homelessness in Kawartha Lakes
Less couch surfing happened after COVID-19, exposing the area's homelessness challenge.

On the surface, it would seem that the pandemic created a surge in homelessness in Kawartha Lakes. Indeed, A Place Called Home did see its client base increase three-fold since COVID, says its interim executive director, David Tilley.

As reported in The Advocate earlier this week safety protocols at the start of the pandemic lead to the closure of the agency’s 19-bed shelter. This meant relocating those residents – and any new, additional ones – into local motels. Since then, the agency is consistently providing rooms for between 45 and 55 individuals.

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Homeless shelter needs re-imagining, says city manager

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Homeless shelter needs re-imagining, says city manager

Hope Lee, manager of human services–housing, shared a report with council laying out in stark terms the homelessness crisis in Kawartha Lakes, and how it has been affected by the pandemic.

She also shared how a re-imagination of A Place Called Home, the area’s only homeless shelter, might positively impact the number of beds available for those who have nowhere to go.

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A Place Called Home: 25 years of fighting for justice for people who are homeless

in Community/Social Issues by
A Place Called Home: 25 years of fighting for justice for people who are homeless
Zita Devan. Photo: Sienna Frost.

It was a chance meeting on a Monday in 1985 that would alter my life path for good. The meeting was with a young man with curly blond hair who, in many ways, looked very much like one of my own teenage sons. I was working at Fleming College at the time, coordinating a government program to help youth who had left high school and lacked job experience.

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A Place Called Home recipient of $5,000 grant

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United Way for the City of Kawartha Lakes (UWCKL) has announced A Place Called Home (APCH) as the recipient of a $5,000 grant from the Telecare Mona Hall Fund to pilot a new Youth Emergency Fund Project.

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More children than adults at A Place Called Home this Christmas

in Community/Social Issues by
APCH Board Chair Karen Round.

The sound of children’s voices during the holidays typically conjures feelings of warmth and sentimentality – unless, of course, those voices are in a homeless shelter.

It’s a jarring mental image but one that A Place Called Home in Lindsay is being forced to contemplate.

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Summer outreach lunch program fed 735 lunches to hungry children

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Summer outreach lunch program fed 735 lunches to hungry children
Volunteers with bagged lunches.

If it takes a village to raise a child, a town can also come together to help feed kids through the summer months. This is what is happening in Lindsay since summer 2018, where an innovative Summer Outreach Lunch Program is providing healthy bagged lunches to children.

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Tall order: A Place Called Home’s Dave Tilley always on lookout for shelter funding

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Dave Tilley. Photo: Jamie Morris.

“Stay where you’re to ‘till I comes to where you’re at.” That’s what I told Dave Tilley, A Place Called Home’s manager of fund development and operations when I dropped in to meet with him. It’s a Maritime expression he’s familiar with: after all, he grew up in Conception Bay South, met his wife when both were students at Memorial University, and each summer delivers their two kids to Newfoundland to spend summer vacation with the grandparents. He’s been steeped in Newfoundlandese.

Dave has a diverse set of responsibilities. When I dropped in, he could have been in any of a number of locations. That morning’s checklist included everything from a health and safety meeting and looking into a used truck purchase to installation of some paper towel dispensers.

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The economics of homelessness as basic income pilot winds down

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Seventy-six years ago, an American psychologist named Abraham Maslow emphasized the process of growing and developing as a person in order to achieve one’s potential.

He called this process a ‘hierarchy of needs’ and, in a testament to common sense, said nothing was more important than basic physical requirements like food, water, sleep, and warmth, as well as safety and security.

Typically, most of us find these things in the security of our income and in the security of own home. When we can’t manage to secure these most basic of needs, though, we’re certainly not going to be able to grow any further as individuals, let alone make a contribution to society. In fact, we will become part of the pressure on our society’s health care system, on our social services, and on our policing and judicial systems.

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Seniors in crisis in Kawartha Lakes: Group calls on Mayor, MPP to help fill in the gaps

in Community/Health/Local News/Seniors by
Scores of seniors with some level of cognitive impairment across Kawartha Lakes are at risk of grave injury or death because there are no services for people like them.

He’s got a makeshift wood stove in a dilapidated trailer outside of town. She’s hoarding junk and debris — so much in fact that the doors to her home no longer open and parts of her floor are sagging. Another man burns flammable liquids to stay warm during the cold clutch of winter. In her postcard-perfect home, another woman constantly calls police to investigate phantom intruders.

This is but a snapshot of a growing number of seniors who are in danger in our community. They’re all over age 60 and most have lost at least some of their cognitive abilities. These are men and women who are not necessarily defined by poverty or rural postal codes. In fact, many of them live in nice homes in Lindsay or elsewhere in Kawartha Lakes and may be quite well off.

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First council meeting goes to pot — and committee appointments

in Business/Community/Local News/Seniors by

A week after being sworn-in, City of Kawartha Lakes Council assembled around its custom-designed triangular conference table in the heart of the refurbished chambers. They gathered to hear a presentation on retail cannabis sales and to approve appointments to boards, committees and CHEST Fund disbursements.

Cannabis Retail Storefronts

By the Jan. 22 deadline set by the Province, council must make a decision on whether to opt-in or opt-out of having private recreational cannabis retail storefronts in Kawartha Lakes.

CAO Ron Taylor and Senior Licensing Officer Alix Scarr, provided a presentation that served as an overview of federal, provincial, and municipal responsibilities and powers with respect to cannabis and outlined the financial implications for the decision council will be making.

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