DURHAM: The Regional Municipality of Durham reaffirms its commitment to supporting vulnerable residents, in recognition of World Homeless Day on October 10.
Homelessness is growing across Durham Region. According to data from the Region’s By-Name List, 359 individuals are experiencing homelessness as of August 2023, compared to 134 people in 2017.
There are many life circumstances that can bring someone to be in crisis, including family breakdown, abuse, job loss, addictions, or mental health challenges. As cost of living has increased, it can also be seniors who rely on social assistance and are now unable to afford their bills.
“Homelessness is growing across Canada and, sadly, our communities are no exception. As cost of living continues to rise, the Region of Durham remains committed to supporting our most vulnerable population, striving to ensure that no one gets left behind or falls through the cracks,” commented Regional Chair John Henry.
The Region of Durham is responsible for the planning and co-ordination of the Homelessness Support System across local municipalities, which includes providing shelter and support. As part of the Region’s housing-first approach, supports, services and strategies lead to housing to help people end their homelessness while meeting their basic needs. The ultimate goal is to end chronic homelessness.
The Region currently has projects underway to support vulnerable residents. These projects include:
Beaverton Transitional Supportive Housing: a modular housing development in Beaverton that will provide accommodation and access to wraparound services.
Ritson School Project: a renovation of the former elementary school building in Oshawa for community programs. This project will also explore opportunities for mixed-use, sustainably built housing.
Community Housing Redevelopment Project: Durham Regional Local Housing Corporation properties are being redeveloped to provide more, higher quality affordable housing and to create mixed income communities.
1635 Dundas: this Whitby site will serve as a low-barrier shelter in the first phase of the project. Engagement is occurring to help develop the longer-term vision for housing options and support services for the site.
The Region also supports more than 6,000 units of affordable and community housing across local municipalities, with 256 new affordable housing units currently under development (this includes Beaverton Transitional Supportive Housing). Increasing affordable and community housing is critical to meeting the needs of vulnerable and low-income people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Region strives to continue finding solutions for the individuals, seniors and families who need it most.