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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

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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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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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From homelessness in Toronto to housing in Lindsay

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Journey of homelessness, poor mental health, leaves man regretting checkered life

Canada is in the grip of an affordable housing crisis. Large municipalities like Toronto are especially hard hit with primary vacancy rates as low as 1.1%. The average cost of a one bedroom apartment has nearly doubled from $1,400 a month in 2009 to $2,400 in 2019. Many working class Torontonians are paying 60% or more of their incomes on rent — and homelessness is becoming more common as a result.

Low income people like me are even more adversely affected by the affordable housing crisis than working class people are.

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Housing and mental health supported by CKL-Trent University partnership

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Housing and mental health supported by CKL-Trent University partnership

Over the past three years, Trent University and the municipality of Kawartha Lakes have partnered to create an Intensive Case Management Evaluation Report for Kawartha Lakes. Intensive Case Management (ICM) is an approach to supporting clients with complex needs in terms of housing and mental health. The Evaluation Report found that the ICM program results in better quality of life for clients, more sustainable service delivery and increased satisfaction in housing.

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Chronic homelessness dramatically reduced in Kawartha Lakes, Haliburton

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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.

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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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Housing and homelessness plan review, update and survey

in Community/Local News/Social Issues by

Provincial legislation has established the City responsible for the administration of housing and homelessness programs and services for both the City of Kawartha Lakes and the County of Haliburton. In this capacity, the City is called the Service Manager. The province requires Service Managers to develop a 10-year Housing and Homelessness Plan (“the Plan”). The Plan establishes priorities for housing and homelessness services based on targeted consultations and research.

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Kawartha Lakes Cycling Classic: Annual ride for A Place Called Home

in Around Town/Community/Health/Social Issues by

The annual Kawartha Lakes Cycling Classic returns Aug. 25 to Lindsay, as riders from across the region ride for A Place Called Home (APCH).

This year’s event promises to be bigger than ever. With courses of varying intensities, (13, 25, 50, 100, and 160 kilometres) the event offers both veteran and novice, casual and competitive cyclists a chance to ride for a great cause in the local community.

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