November 23, 2018 12:42 pm
Updated: November 23, 2018 1:53 pm

Peterborough 10-year housing, homelessness plan nearing midpoint

According the 'I Count Ptbo' homelessness count in March, 259 people were identified as experiencing homelessness in Peterborough.

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A roadmap to ending homelessness in Peterborough by 2024 is nearly half complete.

On Friday, around 50 people took in a community consultation to give feedback over how the first five years of the plan has gone as well as give ideas on how to tackle the final five years of the plan.

“We’ve created a number of affordable units in city and county,” said Ellen Armstrong, the division manager for social services with the city of Peterborough.  “We have worked towards a system response to end homelessness. We’ve done several enumerations.  We’ve met most of our halfway targets from the first plan.”

READ MORE: Way Home Peterborough hopes to eradicate homelessness in Peterborough

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According to the I Count Ptbo homelessness count in March, 259 people were identified as experiencing homelessness in Peterborough.  Of those 259, 142 were experiencing absolute homelessness (staying at emergency shelters or living outside or a place that isn’t meant to be a shelter).

“I think it’s important to recognize that it’s not just about the 259 who are homeless, but what does it say about our community and how we take care of social issues?” said Jim Russell, CEO of United Way Peterborough & District.  “So, we all need to be invested in that end goal.”

The end goal is ending homelessness.  One way the plan aims to do that is by creating new steering committees and working groups that support housing and homelessness planning.  The groups will feature city and county councillors, as well as community members and people who have experienced homelessness.

READ MORE: Low rental vacancy rate affecting Peterborough student housing market

“We want to create measurable goals where we can,” said Sandy Woodhouse, policy analyst in Housing Services with the city of Peterborough. “Not all goals will be measurable, but we want to put numbers to things so every year we can report on those different numbers.”

Another community consultation will be held on Nov. 28 from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Peterborough Square.

The findings from these consultations and an online survey will be included in the plan which will be sent to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing as well as city and county councils.

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