On Wednesday, September 29, Northumberland County and local agencies will partner to gather data about how many people are experiencing homelessness in our community. Mandated by the province, the 2021 Homeless Enumeration will bring greater visibility to the state of homelessness in Northumberland through a point-in-time analysis.
During the enumeration process, County and agency staff will be visiting shelters, parks, and downtown areas throughout Northumberland, as well as locations such as food banks and social services offices, to connect with community members across the county and conduct surveys about the individual situations and needs of people without access to stable housing. Data gathered will be used help strengthen local programs and services as well as coordination between agencies.
“Hearing the unique stories and experiences of individuals and families affected by, or at risk of, homelessness is extremely important to ensure our programs and services are designed for impact,” states County Director of Community & Social Services Lisa Horne. “As we continue to refine our processes and improve coordination amongst system partners, conducting these interviews will allow us to get a better understanding of individual challenges so we can tailor our programs to meet local needs.”
Community partners have trained together to ensure that surveys are delivered consistently and that interviewers are knowledgeable and confident when connecting with community members. Organizations who will have staff out and about in the community on the 29th speaking with people who may be experiencing homelessness include:
- Campbellford Memorial Hospital
- Cobourg Police Service
- Community Health Centres of Northumberland
- Cornerstone Family Violence Prevention Centre
- Habitat for Humanity Northumberland
- Northumberland County Community & Social Services
- Northumberland Hills Hospital Mental Health Services
- Port Hope Police Service
- Salvation Army
- The Help Centre
- Transition House Shelter
“As a provider of temporary emergency shelter and transitional housing support services for Northumberland residents over the age of 18, Transition House Shelter firmly believes that all people have the right to safe and affordable housing,” states Transition House Shelter Director Anne Newman. “To effectively take action against housing insecurity, our community must work together to identify systemic issues and opportunities that exist within the current community support framework. Robust data is essential to this ongoing work, with the data gathered through the enumeration process one vital input.”
“This data collection initiative, made possible with the support of our dedicated community partners, is an important step in our collective efforts to support vulnerable populations,” states County Warden Bob Crate. “The information shared by people with lived experience will improve our response to the changing needs of our community, informing immediate actions and longer-term strategies towards ensuring safety and well-being for all residents of Northumberland.”
Results from the 2021 Homeless Enumeration will be submitted to the Province by December 15, 2021.
Those who are interested in participating as part of this process but may not have the opportunity to connect with one of the interviewers out in the community on September 29 can contact Northumberland County Community & Social Services to participate, by calling their toll-free phone number at 1-800-354-7051 or by visiting the office located at 555 Courthouse Road in Cobourg on either September 29 or September 30.