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Country 93

Monday, September 10, 2018

Bruce County Homelessness Survey Findings

Bruce County | by John Divinski  

Eleven people took the survey and nine were under the age of 31.

Bruce County needs to deal with the homeless, particularly among youth and Indigenous people.

The initial result comes from a homeless survey done during a week in late April and presented September 6th to the Bruce County Human Services Committee.

Its author Hart Walker of York University says during the survey week of April 23-27, 17 individuals experienced homelessness although Walker admits the number is likely far larger than what the survey shows.

Walker says they have had reports of 10 new clients a day, coming into the local social service agencies saying they were experiencing homelessness.

The agencies involved, included Bruce County Housing, Kincardine Resource Centre, Port Elgin Resource Centre, Peninsula Hub Resource Centre, Salvation Army, the Green House in Wiarton, and the Bruce County administration centre

Eleven people agreed to take the survey and based on that, nine were under the age of 31.

Males made up 64% of the survey respondents and 64% were identified as Indigenous/Metis.

The results show the main reason for homelessness, among youth, was most commonly related to "conflicts with a parent or guardian."

Walker says for the most part, they're satisfied with the results after their first attempt to identify the issue.

He says next time they hope to have measures in place to get a more accurate picture of what the problem is.

The measures were not identified.

The acting director of Bruce County Human Services, Tania Dickson, says the survey numbers given them a starting point as they update their long-term housing and homeless strategy, which is due in 2019.

Dickson says they will be holding public consultations this Fall to update the strategy as well.

Municipalities, social service agencies and the general public will be asked to take part in the meetings.

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