Ontario homelessness report urges province to end homelessness within 10 years

News Oct 28, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

An Ontario-backed panel’s report on homelessness urges the Liberal government to end chronic homelessness within a decade.

The report, called A Place To Call Home, provided 23 recommendations to the government to reduce homelessness in Ontario, including properly defining what is homelessness, focus on eliminating chronic homelessness, including youth and aboriginal homelessness which continues to grow, demanded the province invest more money for research, construction of affordable homes and additional programs, and partner with the federal government to create a national housing strategy.

The province is providing $10 million over two years to address the homelessness needs.

Ontario Minister of Housing Ted McMeekin, and Deb Matthews, deputy-premier, released the export panel’s report Oct. 28 in Toronto. The expert panel is part of the Liberal government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy program.

The 14-member panel envisions an Ontario “where all people have access to a home, where a home is understood as ‘a safe and secure place to call your own, where freedom, comforts and needs are met and where people have access to jobs, education and supportive communities’.”

The panelists, who began their mandate in January, included Hamilton’s general manager of emergency and community services Joe-Anne Priel, Michael Shapcott of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, Bruce Rivers of Covenant House, Dr. Stephan Gaetz of York University, Dr. Cheryl Forchuk of Western University, and Dr. Stephen Hwang of St. Michael Hospital.

The panel heard from about 40 presenters representing various demographics and cultures.

“Ending homelessness will require addressing the root causes of homelessness to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place,” stated the report.

McMeekin, who co-chaired the panel with Matthews, recently said the report will provide “transformative” measures to eliminate homelessness, an aggressive goal that the province can meet.  McMeekin said he wanted to oversee the panel so the provincial government will follow through on its commitment to create an action plan to deal with homelessness.

“That is exactly why I wanted to co-chair it,” said McMeekin. “I want my government to honour the report.”

The 80-page report reveals that 90 per cent of homeless Canadians live in poverty and have limited availability of affordable housing.  According to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness 35,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night, and 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness each year. Adult homelessness is estimated to be anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 people, which costs taxpayers each year up to $6 billion.

Youth homelessness is becoming a crisis with 6,000 people using an emergency shelter each night, and 30,000 youths sleeping in a shelter a year. And Aboriginal people are over representative in homelessness statistics, said the report.

In Hamilton, 3,149 people stayed overnight in a shelter in 2014.

According to information from 2011, about 11.5 per cent of Ontario renters had affordability problems, spending 50 per cent of their income on rent, and are therefore at risk of becoming homelessness, stated the report.

The report states that “ending homelessness is a big task and it will require collaboration, capacity building and increased funding for affordable housing and other supports.”

 

Ontario homelessness report urges province to end homelessness within 10 years

News Oct 28, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

An Ontario-backed panel’s report on homelessness urges the Liberal government to end chronic homelessness within a decade.

The report, called A Place To Call Home, provided 23 recommendations to the government to reduce homelessness in Ontario, including properly defining what is homelessness, focus on eliminating chronic homelessness, including youth and aboriginal homelessness which continues to grow, demanded the province invest more money for research, construction of affordable homes and additional programs, and partner with the federal government to create a national housing strategy.

The province is providing $10 million over two years to address the homelessness needs.

Ontario Minister of Housing Ted McMeekin, and Deb Matthews, deputy-premier, released the export panel’s report Oct. 28 in Toronto. The expert panel is part of the Liberal government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy program.

The 14-member panel envisions an Ontario “where all people have access to a home, where a home is understood as ‘a safe and secure place to call your own, where freedom, comforts and needs are met and where people have access to jobs, education and supportive communities’.”

The panelists, who began their mandate in January, included Hamilton’s general manager of emergency and community services Joe-Anne Priel, Michael Shapcott of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, Bruce Rivers of Covenant House, Dr. Stephan Gaetz of York University, Dr. Cheryl Forchuk of Western University, and Dr. Stephen Hwang of St. Michael Hospital.

The panel heard from about 40 presenters representing various demographics and cultures.

“Ending homelessness will require addressing the root causes of homelessness to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place,” stated the report.

McMeekin, who co-chaired the panel with Matthews, recently said the report will provide “transformative” measures to eliminate homelessness, an aggressive goal that the province can meet.  McMeekin said he wanted to oversee the panel so the provincial government will follow through on its commitment to create an action plan to deal with homelessness.

“That is exactly why I wanted to co-chair it,” said McMeekin. “I want my government to honour the report.”

The 80-page report reveals that 90 per cent of homeless Canadians live in poverty and have limited availability of affordable housing.  According to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness 35,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night, and 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness each year. Adult homelessness is estimated to be anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 people, which costs taxpayers each year up to $6 billion.

Youth homelessness is becoming a crisis with 6,000 people using an emergency shelter each night, and 30,000 youths sleeping in a shelter a year. And Aboriginal people are over representative in homelessness statistics, said the report.

In Hamilton, 3,149 people stayed overnight in a shelter in 2014.

According to information from 2011, about 11.5 per cent of Ontario renters had affordability problems, spending 50 per cent of their income on rent, and are therefore at risk of becoming homelessness, stated the report.

The report states that “ending homelessness is a big task and it will require collaboration, capacity building and increased funding for affordable housing and other supports.”

 

Ontario homelessness report urges province to end homelessness within 10 years

News Oct 28, 2015 by Kevin Werner Stoney Creek News

An Ontario-backed panel’s report on homelessness urges the Liberal government to end chronic homelessness within a decade.

The report, called A Place To Call Home, provided 23 recommendations to the government to reduce homelessness in Ontario, including properly defining what is homelessness, focus on eliminating chronic homelessness, including youth and aboriginal homelessness which continues to grow, demanded the province invest more money for research, construction of affordable homes and additional programs, and partner with the federal government to create a national housing strategy.

The province is providing $10 million over two years to address the homelessness needs.

Ontario Minister of Housing Ted McMeekin, and Deb Matthews, deputy-premier, released the export panel’s report Oct. 28 in Toronto. The expert panel is part of the Liberal government’s Poverty Reduction Strategy program.

The 14-member panel envisions an Ontario “where all people have access to a home, where a home is understood as ‘a safe and secure place to call your own, where freedom, comforts and needs are met and where people have access to jobs, education and supportive communities’.”

The panelists, who began their mandate in January, included Hamilton’s general manager of emergency and community services Joe-Anne Priel, Michael Shapcott of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, Bruce Rivers of Covenant House, Dr. Stephan Gaetz of York University, Dr. Cheryl Forchuk of Western University, and Dr. Stephen Hwang of St. Michael Hospital.

The panel heard from about 40 presenters representing various demographics and cultures.

“Ending homelessness will require addressing the root causes of homelessness to prevent people from becoming homeless in the first place,” stated the report.

McMeekin, who co-chaired the panel with Matthews, recently said the report will provide “transformative” measures to eliminate homelessness, an aggressive goal that the province can meet.  McMeekin said he wanted to oversee the panel so the provincial government will follow through on its commitment to create an action plan to deal with homelessness.

“That is exactly why I wanted to co-chair it,” said McMeekin. “I want my government to honour the report.”

The 80-page report reveals that 90 per cent of homeless Canadians live in poverty and have limited availability of affordable housing.  According to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness 35,000 Canadians are homeless on any given night, and 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness each year. Adult homelessness is estimated to be anywhere from 150,000 to 300,000 people, which costs taxpayers each year up to $6 billion.

Youth homelessness is becoming a crisis with 6,000 people using an emergency shelter each night, and 30,000 youths sleeping in a shelter a year. And Aboriginal people are over representative in homelessness statistics, said the report.

In Hamilton, 3,149 people stayed overnight in a shelter in 2014.

According to information from 2011, about 11.5 per cent of Ontario renters had affordability problems, spending 50 per cent of their income on rent, and are therefore at risk of becoming homelessness, stated the report.

The report states that “ending homelessness is a big task and it will require collaboration, capacity building and increased funding for affordable housing and other supports.”