Dear Colleagues, There were positive announcements in July with the recognition of the harm towards First Nations children, youth and families. 

August is Overdose Awareness Month and reminds us of the work to be done in response to the opioid crisis. Overdose touches people and communities in many ways. It is a complex issue involving stigma, discrimination and various misunderstandings about drugs and people who use drugs. Our collective response to overdose prevention demands a comprehensive response from governments, organisations within and beyond health sectors, and a compassionate and informed community.

  • International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) 2023: is a global event held on August 31st each year. It aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death.  It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose. The 2023 theme is “Recognizing those people who go unseen”. Campaign Resources 2023 – International Overdose Awareness Day (
  • Grey Bruce Events: Families and friends of those affected are planning memorial ceremonies in many communities.
    • In Owen Sound, Safe N Sound will be hosting a barbecue and ceremony starting at 10:30am at the Farmer’s Market. More information to follow. In Hanover, the Overdose Awareness Group are planning a casual gathering at the Heritage Square Park at the gazebo. Concentrating more on support for those who have lost people to overdose, or living in fear with someone struggling. People are welcome to share or just embrace the support. More information to follow.

The Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) and Ontario’s Big City Mayors (OBCM) continue to call for a multi-level response to end the drug poisoning crisis. These recommendations involve emergency management and policy reform that acknowledges the root causes of addiction, such as housing related factors, poverty, unemployment, and trauma.


  • Bruce County Housing Report: was presented to the Human Services Committee meeting with the following data:
    • the number of applicants as of June 30th of this year was 1093, up from 843 at the same time in 2022.
    • the largest increase was for the number of applications for rent-geared-to-income housing, which increased by 32%, from 790 applications in 2022 to 1046 in 2023.
    • over the same time frame, the number of family applications increased by 32%, while the number of adults applying for housing went up by 29%.
    • the number of senior applications saw a smaller increase of 13%.
  • Grey County Housing Report: and update to the Housing Action Plan (HAP) was presented to the Committee of the Whole.
    • The County is expected to grow by more than 12,000 households through 2046.
    • Policy targets aim for 30% of new development at an ‘affordable’ price point to low- and moderate-income households.


  • The Salvation Army Owen Sound: recently reported they are helping close to 1,000 people/month with food and clothing.
    • Annual food bank usage is up 20%.
    • Food bank feeds 750-780 people/month; 22-24% higher average than last year (600/month).
    • $60,000 spend on groceries in the last 2-3 months; with a significant increase in food for the Supportive Outreach Program (SOS).
    • The Salvation Army Port Elgin: food bank is now open 3 days/week due to demand and may go up to being open 4 days/week in September.


  • Community Foundation Grey Bruce: Applications are now open for Fall grants up to $3,000 and being accepted through our online granting portal. The deadline is September 15, 2023.

Stay well, Jill

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