Rural Homeless Enumeration 2018

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In April of 2018, Bruce County and Grey County each conducted a homelessness enumeration using a Period Prevalence Count (PPC) methodology in their respective counties.

The problem of homelessness is most often associated with urban communities, however, a growing body of research over the past 15 years has shown that the problem is also prevalent in rural Canada. The size and the dynamics of the problem in these rural areas is still largely unknown, in part because of unique problems that
rural areas pose for data collection. Rural areas often have fewer services geared towards people experiencing homelessness and the services that are available often serve a large geographical region.

A recent study conducted in rural and northern Ontario found that only 32 percent of service providers in these regions are able to keep ongoing records of their at-risk and homeless populations. This problem is compounded by the fact that rural areas tend to have smaller populations spread out over relatively large geographic regions, making it more difficult to locate those who sleep rough or stay in unsafe dwellings.

The homelessness enumeration was the first of its kind to be conducted in Bruce County and Grey County – the result of a mandate set by the provincial government in 2016 with the passage of the Promoting Affordable Housing Act and the commitment to end chronic homelessness by 2025.

Beginning in 2018, all Ontario municipalities are required to conduct a homeless enumeration every two years with the goals of:

  • Improving community awareness and understanding of homelessness;
  • Helping to monitor and assess developing trends over time;
  • Providing a method through which to measure progress; and
  • Strengthening efforts to end homelessness.

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force Housing Action Group identified organizations across the two counties that work with people experiencing homelessness as hub sites where enumerators would be located to conduct surveys. Front line social service workers were provided enumeration training on the survey tool, empathy training and information on services/programs available for people experiencing homelessness.

Results

Bruce County: over the course of the enumeration week, a total of 17 individuals experiencing homelessness were counted in Bruce County. Eleven of them completed questionnaires.  Read more in the full report: 2018 Homeless Enumeration – Bruce County.

Grey County: over the course of the week 33 individuals identified as experiencing homelessness and 29 completed the survey.  Read more in the full report to council.

Next Steps

The results are large enough to demonstrate homelessness exists in Grey County and Bruce County. Although the results presented are not generalizable to both counties’ population, they are sufficient to demonstrate that homelessness is a socioeconomic problem in Bruce County and Grey County.  The results suggests avenues for further study, particularly in regards to youth and seniors’ homelessness.

These results will be used in the consultation sessions for the update to Bruce County’s Long-Term Housing Strategy and Grey County’s 10 Year Housing and Homelessness Plan.

 

Defining Adequate Housing

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Housing is a basic need and is internationally recognized as a human right. Housing forms the foundation for our homes, neighbourhoods and communities.

Housing provides shelter, security, a space in which family life can happen and where children grow up and thrive. Yet, for many people, their housing jeopardizes their health and well-being.

The unfit conditions in housing, disproportionately experienced by people living in low income or other marginalizing circumstances negatively affect people’s physical and mental health. Multiple chronic diseases and acute effects, including asthma, respiratory conditions, allergies, chemical sensitivities, as well as cardiovascular disease and its numerous risk factors can be exacerbated or, in some cases caused, by poverty, stress, and living in unhealthy conditions.

Our Community Voices  are featured in a recent series of Rentsafe videos:

Defining Adequate 

My Voice is Power

Stigma in the System

Towards Healthy Homes for All: RentSafe Summary and Recommendations April 2018, summarizes the research over the past 3 years and offers recommendations for action to improve intersectoral action and capacity to ensure healthy housing conditions

 

Ontario Election_June 12th_All Candidates Events Listing

Poverty Reduction is a key election issue. Our Ontario government is legislated to develop a poverty reduction strategy every 5 years regardless of which party is in power.

So it is important that candidates can speak and act on poverty issues.  Please find below a list of dates and locations for many of our local All-Candidate events. 

Please  find attached 2 flyers with information and questions to ask your candidates regarding Income Security and Affordable Housing.  Please feel free to use these flyers, photocopy them and circulate them.

Poverty Task Force_Election flyer_Housing questions

Poverty Task Force_Election flyer_Wage questions

The Bruce Grey Poverty Task Force shall be attending the below meetings and we encourage all members to ask questions!

Tuesday, May 27th, 7 pm, Keady Community Centre, Keady ON  The Bruce & Grey Federations of Agriculture, is having an All-Candidates event with a focus on Agricultural issues.

Thursday, May 29th, 7pm, On Roger Cable Network. Rogers Cable is holding a live All-Candidates event on TV for Bruce Grey Owen Sound riding.

They will take questions by phone from watchers, which will be moderated by Roger’s staff. Anyone watching can use our questions or their own and phone them in.

Tuesday, June 3rd, 6pm, Bayshore Community Centre, 900 3 Ave E, Owen Sound The Owen Sound Chamber of Commerce is holding an All-Candidates event with a focus on business issues.

The Chamber of Commerce shall be posing questions to the candidates prior to the event. The responses to the questions shall be published in the Make It Your Business newspaper on June 3rd.  The public shall be selected through a lottery to ask questions at this event.

Friday, June 6th, 7pm, St. George’s Anglican Church, Owen Sound The Women’s Centre, Grey and Bruce, is having an All-Candidates event with a focus on Social Justice issues.

The Community Action Committee of the Women’s Centre Board is organizing this event.  We are still confirming the process for asking questions at this event.

Housing Action Group Minutes_27 February 2014

The Housing Action Group met on 27 February 2014 and focused on developing a plan to address substandard rental housing units throughout the Counties – how to define the type, magnitude and distribution of housing conditions in Grey and Bruce Counties.  The goals of the project will be to 1) improve communication between CBO and landords, 2) education of tenants and landlords, 3) improve wording in official plans as to maintenance of units, etc.   See the full minutes: Poverty Network Housing Sub Committee Meeting Minutes February 27, 2014 (1)