DAN CEARNS, The Standard
SCUGOG: Scugog councillors were told, at a meeting on Monday, February 6th, homelessness is a growing issue in the Township.
Ron Houston, the Chairman of North House, appeared in front of councillors to discuss this issue and to promote their upcoming Coldest Night of the Year event.
North House is a non-profit organization which provides a spectrum of housing support for at-risk individuals in North Durham.
“Homelessness is on the rise in Scugog. Most of those who are homeless in our communities do not live on the streets covered in sleeping bags. They are your friend’s adult child who moved home with their own children, due to the high cost of rent. It’s the retired parents who now live in their child’s basement because they can no longer afford their own home. Or the cousin who sleeps on your couch while searching for an affordable apartment,” Mr. Houston explained.
He added this crisis is “prevalent and ever-rising.”
Mr. Houston stated 67 households accessed North House’s services in 2022, with 41 of those households being new clients.
“It’s not just single people or couples, but [also] families,” he said.
There are currently no homeless shelters in the North Durham communities of Scugog, Brock and Uxbridge.
“Transitional housing does not really exist in the North either, and permanent housing is harder and harder to find.” Mr. Houston noted.
This year, the annual Coldest Night of the Year event will be held on Saturday, February 25th, at the Port Perry United Church. The check-in time for participants is at 4 p.m., with remarks and the walk starting at 5 p.m.