The federal government is providing nearly $1.8 million to the United Way Peterborough and District to address homelessness issues in the area.
You are reading: Feds provide $1.79M to United Way Peterborough for homelessness projects by 8 groups
On Thursday, United Way CEO Jim Russell announced the funding will come through the federal government’s “Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy,” a program that provides direct support and funding to “prevent and reduce homelessness.”
In September 2022 the City of Peterborough said, on average, about 300 people each month are experiencing homelessness in the city and county.
Russell said $1,798,667 was distributed to eight community partners for the following projects (funding will run through until March 31, 2024):
The Canadian Mental Health Association (Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge) will spend $150,000 for the purchase from Metrosuites Inc. to build a modular pre-built garden home for one individual on the city’s by-name priority list.
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The Community Counselling and Resource Centre, CMHA and One City Peterborough received $488,489 for their partnership for outreach services to identify individuals for the Housing Unit Takeovers (HUTS) and help them find housing.
The Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough will use $257,034 to expand the “Wings of Change” project to include criminalized men experiencing homelessness to help with housing searches, landlord mediation and housing rights training.
FourCast Addictions Services received $139,808 to support and retain three to four landlords who are interested in housing clients on the by-name priority list.
The John Howard Society of Peterborough and One City Peterborough are partnering to utilize $235,977 to hire a full-time resident life coordinator, a part-time housing support worker and a capacity-building position to explore building strategies within congregate housing.
One City Peterborough will utilize $219,000 to purchase and renovate a Collison Crescent house as an eight-bed facility for transitional/support housing. Another $61,659 will support One City’s Stop Gap, the new overnight drop-in program at Trinity United Church
The Peterborough Housing Corporation will use $197,521 for the Hunt Terrace Supportive Housing project to commit 40 units at 555 Bonaccord St. to the city’s by-name priority list. The corporation will also dedicate 20 units to alternative-level-of-care beds at PRHC and six units to the VON wait list for those requiring assisted living services and add another 15 units to the city’s by-name list of those experiencing homelessness.
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The Research for Social Change Lab at Trent University will utilize $49,188 for its study “Investigating Shelter (in)justice in Peterborough” to document how the city’s coordinated access system works in practice.
“Our current shelter system is strained to meet the needs of all those community members experiencing homelessness,” said Russell. “It is imperative that any investment is strategic, encourages partnerships, and puts the needs of those individuals, our neighbours, at the forefront of service and intervention. We all have a stake morally, economically and in particular as a human rights issue to end homelessness.”
Russell says the coalition is “dedicated to ending homelessness” in the area. The groups will be administering programs encompassing outreach, supportive housing, purchasing housing stock, partnering with private sector landlords, transitional housing, research, and winter warming room.
Kathy Neill, executive director of the John Howard Society, says, she is “excited by the energy in this community and desire to work together as partners with the goal of ending homelessness.”
Ahmed Hussen, federal minister of housing and diversity and inclusion, says everyone deserves a “safe and affordable place to call home.”
“Our government is committed to supporting our most vulnerable, especially those in the Peterborough area who are experiencing or are at risk of being homeless,” said Hussen. “We will continue to do our part to help those who need it most and ensure no one is left behind.”
More to come…