Simcoe Country receives $9.1 million to alleviate homelessness

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Ontario has committed to investing over $9.1 million in affordable housing in Simcoe County, through Ontario’s Home for Good program and Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative.

The funding will help find housing for those in need, and help them gain access to support services like counselling and addictions treatment. The announcement was made July 31.

As an example of what the program offers, a property in Victoria Harbour received $800,000 in funding to build eight new one-bedroom apartments for seniors.

“With this investment, Simcoe County can offer programs that help individuals and families in our community,” said Jill Dunlop, MPP for Simcoe North. “It will help people not just find homes, but also get the supports they need to rebuild their lives.”

Home for Good is one of Ontario’s over 20 supporting housing programs. “I’m proud to say that Ontario invests more in housing and homelessness than any other level of government,” said Steve Clark, minister of municipal affairs and housing.

The Community Homelessness Prevention Program provides funding to help at-risk people find and keep housing. Service managers for the program can direct funding to areas of greatest need in their communities.

According to Simcoe County’s 2018 Homelessness Enumeration Report, 21 per cent of people experiencing homelessness cited  addiction and substance abuse as their reason for homelessness, while 20 per cent cited an inability to pay rent or mortgage. 28 per cent reported having nowhere to live following a hospital stay or release from a correctional facility. Almost a quarter said they’d been in foster care in the past.

The report points to the need for an increase in primary care, mental health, and addiction services in addition to housing options for people experiencing homelessness.

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