A presentation at Barrie City Hall offered a snapshot of the city’s fight against homelessness.
The Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness presented some stats to council by request Monday evening, stating that there were 697 people experiencing homelessness in the County. Of those, 305 were in Barrie, 128 were in Midland, and 97 in Orillia.
Just over forty per cent of those were in emergency shelters, and one third of survey respondents reported they were newly homeless. Twenty-eight per cent say they became homeless after leaving a hospital or correctional facility with no where else to go. Almost a quarter say they had lived in foster care in the past, while 16 per cent of those experiencing homelessness in Simcoe County were youth.
The SCATEH came to City Hall with four “Next Steps” it wants to focus on in combatting homelessness:
- Educate local governments and decision makers.
- Increase housing options for people experiencing homelessness.
- Increase primary care, mental health and addiction services, and other supports for street-involved and vulnerable populations.
- Collaborate with key sector partners to discharge people directly into housing, and include supports.
The SCATEH requested City Hall invite them back on a perhaps semi-annual basis for updates on the community’s efforts to end homelessness.