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Initial results shared from local survey on homelessness

Posted on Thursday April 26, 2018

Cobourg, ON – April 26, 2018 – Today, at a public presentation at the Cobourg Community Centre, Northumberland County Community and Social Services staff shared initial survey findings from last week’s homelessness Registry Week.

From April 16-20, 60 trained volunteers connected with individuals and families throughout Northumberland who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness. Volunteers surveyed these community members to gather information about their housing history, health, and current levels of risk and need. In total, volunteers surveyed 53 individuals and 10 families who identified as homeless.

“The information gathered during Registry Week is vital as we work to know every person experiencing homelessness in Northumberland County by name,” indicated Community & Social Services Director Lisa Horne. “The survey information gathered will enable us to update our By-Name List—a cornerstone of the Coordinated Entry System—and better prioritize supports for those members of our community who are experiencing the highest levels of risk and need. We are committed to continuing the important work with our partners to foster a community-wide response model of infrastructure and supports that will deliver the most significant impact for people in our community who are experiencing homelessness.”

Northumberland County and community partners have been working since the initial Registry Week in 2016 to strengthen the Coordinated Entry System for people in the community experiencing homelessness. A Coordinated Entry System ensures that all community partners are using common practices to identify people who are experiencing homelessness, and then using a common assessment tool to better understand the needs of these individuals and begin matching them to appropriate services and supports as quickly as possible.

During the November 2016 Registry Week, 58 individuals and 17 families were identified as experiencing homelessness in Northumberland. The County and community partners have since been updating the initial By-Name List as people enter or leave the homelessness system. Upon entry, individuals are assigned to a lead agency that can offer the most appropriate supports, such as the County for Ontario Works payments or the Northumberland Hills Hospital for mental health services. At the time of the release of the County’s 2017 Homelessness Progress Report in June 2017, 36 individuals and 13 families from the By-Name List had been supported to find housing solutions since the list was created in November 2016.

“We are proud of the work by staff and community partners since the first Registry Week to better coordinate resources to support those in our community who are experiencing homelessness to access safe, affordable housing,” states County Warden Mark Lovshin. “Council continues to support staff in building on the progress to date, and working with community partners, investors, private landlords and funders to improve availability of housing stock. These efforts are bringing us closer to our goal of ending chronic homelessness in Northumberland County.”

Officials will be reconnecting with every person identified as homeless within the next three to six months, to link them with appropriate services and supports. A full report on all survey data collected will be presented to County Council and released to the general public this summer. For more information about this initiative, visit www.NorthumberlandCounty.ca/20KHomes

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