The Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is a community-based program that relies on communities to determine their own needs and to develop appropriate projects. The HPS supports 61 designated communities and some small, rural, northern and Aboriginal communities to develop local solutions to homelessness. Dufferin County is one of the designated communities where the Federal Government has made a commitment to maintain annual funding for housing and homelessness from 2014-2018.
Dufferin County is served by a Community Advisory Board (CAB), a steering committee that develops a Community Plan (CP). The CP priority is: “To reduce homelessness through a Housing First (HF) approach.” HF focuses on moving people who are experiencing chronic and episodic homelessness as rapidly as possible from the street or emergency shelter into permanent housing with supports that vary according to client need. HPS funds are invested in projects that support the community priorities identified in the plan. Currently Dufferin HPS helps fund a Housing First Support Coordinator.
CAB includes a range of partners from the public, not-for-profit and private sectors. These partners work together to develop plans for ending homelessness in their communities.
The County of Dufferin act as the Community Entity (CE) to flow HPS funds to CAB from the Federal Government.
The Dufferin CAB have joined the 20,000 Homes Campaign.
The 20,000 Homes Campaign is a national movement of communities working together to permanently house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people by July 1, 2018. The campaign is spear headed by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
The campaign supports a grassroots non-partisan advocacy effort to build public support for ending homelessness and political support for renewed federal and provincial investment in housing and support services.
The campaign was inspired by the successful 100,000 Homes Campaign in the United States, but has been adapted to work in a Canadian context.
The campaign is based on the belief that homelessness is a national emergency requiring urgent and immediate action, where the time has come to stop managing homelessness, and start ending it.
CAB will complete at least one Registry (count of the homeless population) and we will engage volunteers who want to contribute to implementing a registry and taking forward action: neighbours, people with lived experience, local businesses, housing and service providers, faith-based groups and government agencies.
The 20,000 Homes Campaign will assist communities to implement the seven (7) core elements of the campaign:
At CAB’s meeting on Wednesday July 20th, 2016, the committee voted to join the 20,000 Homes campaign in order to strengthen and promote the ongoing work in the area of HF.
The committee then formed a ‘Project Leadership’ sub committee which held their first meeting on Tuesday August 2, 2016 and started the ground work for the campaign.
The committee will meet weekly and consists of representatives from the County of Dufferin (Housing Department), Supportive Housing In Peel (SHIP), Choices Youth Shelter, Family Transition Place (FTP) and Orangeville Food Bank.
Rather than a full registry week the committee were mindful that a 2-day count may be more resource appropriate.
Then after the details from the count have been compiled into a report there will be an official launch of the report and a Call to Action to garner more ongoing support and raise awareness for homelessness services.
The Project Leadership committee will be working with the wider CAB committee and other local agencies to recruit volunteers to help with the count/data collection.
CAB will also work to raise awareness within the homeless population to let them the count is coming and that their participation is needed. (Participants will be given an honorarium as a thank you for taking part in the survey.)