Poverty Task Force/United Way Community Update # 75

Dear Colleagues, 

On Monday, October 18, Grey County and Bruce County are working with community partners to conduct a one-day survey for individuals experiencing homelessness. Everyone counts. They want to hear from those who are sleeping on the street, couch surfing, or temporarily housed.

This review will be a point-in-time count that provides a snapshot of the number of people experiencing homelessness in both Counties. The information provided will help both Counties better understand the current scope of homelessness in the area and data will be used to inform future decisions around needed supports and services.

  • Organizations/agencies/community members are asked for their help in directing people to various hub sites where staff and volunteers will be able to meet with individuals experiencing homelessness. 
  • Anyone experiencing homelessness is asked to complete the survey. 
  • Information collected will remain anonymous. 
  • The enumeration will collect demographic information using a set of standard questions.The same survey is being used by both Counties. 
  • All participants will receive a gift card as thanks for supporting the survey. 
  • Volunteers will be available to answer questions and help connect people with available supports.   
  • The survey can also be completed by phone by calling 516-376-5744.
  • For more information about the housing and homelessness survey, please contact josh.gibson@grey.ca or tdickson@brucecounty.on.ca 

Stay well, Jill 

Smoking to be banned inside Grey housing units

By Denis Langlois, Sun Times, Owen Sound

Monday, July 8, 2013 5:22:45 EDT PM

Three fires over eight months in 2012 at Grey County-owned housing buildings has prompted the upper-tier government to move to ban smoking inside residential units.

A no-smoking clause will be included in all lease agreements — signed by new tenants and tenants that have transferred to another unit — starting Jan. 1, 2014.

Existing tenants will be “grandfathered” and can continue to smoke in their units for the length of their tenancy, unless they opt to sign a no-smoking policy addendum to their lease, said Grey County housing director Rod Wyatt.

The new policy will also ban smoking outdoors within five metres of any windows, doors, patios or balconies.

“We’ve been considering this for a couple years now,” Wyatt said in a recent interview.

“Certainly the fires gave us the impetus to move forward at this time.”

The county owns 888 residential units. About half are located in Owen Sound, with others in communities like Hanover, Flesherton, Dundalk and Meaford.

One unit was destroyed and two others were heavily damaged after a fire broke out May 25, 2012, at the Alpha St. townhouse complex in Owen Sound. No one was injured in the blaze.

Nearly two months later, fire crews responded to a blaze at county-owned Lemon Court at 85 Lemon St. in Thornbury. One unit was severely damaged. A tenant was taken to hospital as a precaution and two were displaced.

The third fire resulted in the death of an elderly man, which heavily damaged a unit Dec. 15 at the county-owned Maple Villa apartment complex at 81 Bruce St.

Wyatt said the July and December fires were both caused by “careless smoking.” The Alpha St. fire was ignited by a stove, but evidence of “unsafe smoking” was found in the unit, he said.

He said the county has received an increased number of complaints from tenants about the impact of secondhand smoking.

The Smoke Free Ontario Act already bans people from smoking in common areas of multi-unit dwellings, which include hallways, lobbies, elevators and stairways.