Written By: Monday, April 23rd 2018

The Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness is taking part in Ontario’s homeless enumeration April 24 to 26, 2018. This is the first province-wide count of its kind to identify, engage and survey as many people experiencing homelessness as possible. In Simcoe County, data collected in the enumeration process will inform strategic efforts to end homelessness. Data will be used to achieve the following objectives:

 

·       Increase community awareness about homelessness in Simcoe County

·       Provide a mechanism to track progress in ending chronic homelessness and compare local homeless trends with those in other communities

·       Populate a list of homeless citizens which will be kept up-to-date and provide real time data

·       Build a more co-ordinated, integrated and seamless system of care to make a lasting impact

 

The count will be conducted in five regions of the County (Barrie, Orillia and area, North Simcoe, South Georgian Bay, South Simcoe). Volunteers have received training and will be conducting surveys with teams led by outreach and other homeless services providers in outdoor places, in shelters, or in service agencies.

Anyone experiencing homelessness is encouraged to call, toll free 1-844-845-8494 to complete the homeless engagement/enumeration survey from 2 p.m. April 24 to end of the day April 26, 2018.

 

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy.  The project also received funding support from the Ontario Ministry of Housing. The initiative is being led by the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness with the participation of its membership including: emergency shelters, housing resource centres, outreach programs, Indigenous organizations, youth, LGBTQ2S and French language service representatives; United Way Simcoe Muskoka; representatives of the Georgian Bay Native Friendship Centre; emergency services providers (e.g., police and paramedics); County of Simcoe staff.

 

County of Simcoe is composed of sixteen member municipalities and provides crucial public services to County residents in addition to providing paramedic and social services to the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia. Visit our website at simcoe.ca.

 

Quotes:

“We know that poverty and homelessness is a growing issue in our communities. This is an important project that for the first time will give us a 360 degree look at the local issue, provide us with raw data and enable us to better understand local needs and build a strategy to end homelessness.” – County of Simcoe Warden Gerry Marshall

 

“This Homeless Enumeration is an important coordinated community exercise that drives change in how we respond to the crisis of homelessness.  We will be using the knowledge we gain from the surveys as a call to action and to create a plan of action tailored to our community. Every survey participant and every volunteer who assists us in these efforts are helping our community to get one step closer to ending homelessness in Simcoe County.” – Sara Peddle, Chair of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness and Executive Director of the David Busby Street Centre