Homeless residents moving from tents to hotels thanks to Wellington County

There are two tents left from what was a large encampment in downtown Guelph. Ken Hashizume/CJOY

The County of Wellington is in the process of helping move residents living in tent encampments to proper shelters and housing.

The federal government recently announced funding to the tune of $633,000 to the county for a winter response program. This is a one-time funding from the federal Reaching Home program.

In an email to Global News from the county’s director of housing, Mark Poste, it was announced the funding can be used to support temporary expansion of shelter spaces, provide limited rental assistance, increase services, and purchase supplies.

“The County signed the agreement with Infrastructure Canada at the end of January,” said Poste. “Housing Services staff in partnership with many community partners have since reached out to unsheltered individuals across our service delivery area to see if they are interested in temporary accommodations.”

Breaking news from Canada and around the world sent to your email, as it happens.

People living in a tent encampment in St. George’s Square in downtown Guelph appear to have taken the county up on its offer. Most have packed up their belongings and are taking up other accommodations such as hotel rooms and shelters.

Story continues below advertisement

As of Thursday, all but two of the tents have been removed or taken down.

“To date, this funding is supporting 16 individuals with temporary accommodations at various locations in Wellington County and Guelph,” said Poste. “We have 12 community partners working to connect with these individuals frequently to ensure supports are provided if needed.”

Among the organizations assisting the County are: Welcoming Streets, Stepping Stone, Community resource Centre, East Wellington Community Services, Sanguen Health Van, Wyndham House, Royal City Mission, Guelph Community Health Centre, Stonehenge Therapeutic, and the Canadian Mental Health Association.

Poste also said the work the county is doing is in no way a response to a proposed bylaw on public space use that is being debated at Guelph City Council.

He said once funding expires on April 30, the county will be looking at other options within the system to support these individuals.

Sponsored content