ROB DRAL The Standard
KAWARTHA LAKES: The City of Kawartha Lakes is one step closer to ending homelessness in the community.
On Friday, August 26th, the Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton Chapter of the 20,000 Homes Campaign held a community debriefing, to share initial results of a survey, at the Coboconk Community Centre. The Kawartha Lakes-Haliburton campaign to end homelessness is a branch of the National 20,000 homes campaign, and promises to house 24 of the most vulnerable homeless in the community by July 2018.
Surveys were conducted by over 40 volunteers and staff members of the 20,000 Homes Campaign. Participants received a $5 Tim Horton’s gift card to thank them for their time.
In total, 112 people without permanent homes were asked about their housing and health care needs. Surveys were conducted in well-known hot spots around the area, such as homeless shelters, libraries, food banks, and special events in and around the community.
Not surprising to some, the results revealed a high number of homeless people in the community. There were 78 homeless people found in Lindsay and 26 others in the County of Haliburton, and six in the rest of the City of Kawartha Lakes.
According to results published on The City of Kawartha Lakes website, there were a total of 128 interactions, with 112 individuals surveyed. 17 were living in shelters, 46 couch surfing, 42 indicated other accommodations such as hotels, motels, or the hospital, and six were unsheltered completely. 58 percent were male, and 37 percent were female.
Another set of surprising statistics to come out of the survey were, the statistics relating to health care use. 81 people visited the Emergency Room a total of 246 times, 31 people required ambulance trips totalling 58 times, and 35 people reported hospitalization as an inpatient up to 86 times, all in the last 6 months.
In a press release, Rod Sutherland, Director of Human Services said, “We will use the results of the campaign to prioritize actions and work with stakeholders, to increase the coordination of resources for the most vulnerable in our community.”
For more information, visit the City of Kawartha Lakes website, at www.city.kawarthalakes.on.ca.
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