United Way of Peterborough and District distributes $1.8M to eight groups to fight homelessness
The United Way of Peterborough and District is distributing $1,798,667 in Reaching Home funds to eight community groups to help meet city and county housing and homelessness needs.
It’s a multi-pronged approach aimed at providing affordable housing and ending homelessness in Peterborough, Chief Executive Officer Jim Russell said when announcing the funding Thursday at the Stewart Street offices of the John Howard Society in Peterborough, one of the eight Recipient.
“Ultimately, we want people to get the support they need. We need to add things, it’s as simple as that,” Russell said. “I want people to appreciate the breadth of investments, from capital projects to front-line and full-service.”
The other seven recipients are: One City Peterborough, the Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough, Fourcast, Trent University’s Research for Social Change Lab, the Community Counseling and Resource Centre, Peterborough Housing Corporation and the Canadian Mental Health Association of Haliburton, Kawartha , pine ridge.
Each organization’s project is based on data collected by United Way’s Point-in-Time Count, which measures local homelessness through annual censuses.
“One of the things we’re wondering after receiving that $1.8 million is where are we going to invest it?” he said. “And the first place we go is the data. What does this information tell us specifically?”
The Finding Home project, which will help support individuals involved in unit takeovers – when criminal predators manipulate tenants into unwanted use of their homes – and connect them to appropriate housing, received the largest grant ($488,489 USD).
“It’s really helped us find the gaps in the hidden homelessness and really understand how the housing takeovers have impacted our community, landlords and organizations,” said Jennifer Bain, Supportive Living Manager at the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton , Kawartha, Pine Ridge, which is collaborating on the project with the Community Counseling Resource Center and One City Peterborough.
“One City provides outreach support to homeless people who may also be involved in home ownership,” said Annie Hedden, program manager for CCRC. “And the Community Resource Center provides housing retention support, so people are supported to stay home after or during an intervention.”
Other projects included Actualizing Community as a Housing Strategy, Community Homes, Investigating Shelter (In) Justice in Peterborough, Hunt Terrace Supportive Housing, Pathway Peer Housing Program, Pilot Garden Home Project, Reaching Home Stabilization Fund and Stop Gap Overnight Drop In.
“We’re really proud to be able to talk about and celebrate our collective community response,” said Russell.
This grant runs until March 31, 2024.
“I am thrilled with the energy in this community and the desire to work together as a partner in the goal of ending homelessness,” said Kathy Neill, executive director of the John Howard Society, in a press release.
Here is an overview of what the funding will be used for:
- Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge, $150,000, Pilot Garden Home Project: Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge will enter into a purchase and sale agreement with Metrosuites Inc. to build a modular prefabricated garden home constructed and delivered as a one bedroom turnkey building suitable for an individual who is currently on the City of Peterborough’s nominative priority list.
- Community Counseling and Resource Center and One City Peterborough (in partnership with the Canadian Mental Health Association Haliburton Kawartha Pine Ridge), $488,489, Finding Home: A community project to support individuals identified as being involved in HUTS, the person who has a legal claim to the unit, and the persons who “occupy”. By coordinating services, the three organizations will work with those involved in the HUTS to reach out and support them in a variety of ways, with the ultimate goal of connecting them to suitable shelters.
- Elizabeth Fry Society of Peterborough, $257,034, Pathway Peer Housing Program: This project expands the Wings of Change program to include criminalized men affected by homelessness. EFRY will employ a housing coordinator and a lived-in housing worker to provide safe/stable housing for criminalized men, with priority given to indigenous men. The housing worker helps with the apartment search, offers advocacy and landlord mediation as well as training on housing law.
- One City Peterborough, $219,000 Community Homes: Funding will be used to purchase and renovate a home on Collison Crescent as an 8 bed facility that provides temporary/supportive housing for those who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
- One City Peterborough, $61,659, Stop Gap – Overnight Drop In: This funding supports One City’s operations of Stop Gap, the overnight drop-in program at Trinity United Church. The program runs from January 16, 2023 to April 30, 2023, 7 days a week between 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m.
- Fourcast, $139,808, Reaching Home Stabilization Fund: Funding will be used to support and retain three to four identified landlords interested in accommodating clients on the by-name priority list. The project will provide a special fund to mitigate costs such as property damage due to tenant behavior or the actions of guests (wanted or not) or hostile home takeovers. Funds will also be used to fund the Bridge Housing Option, short-term housing designed to transition people from homelessness to permanent housing.
- John Howard Society of Peterborough (in association with One City), $235,977, Actualizing Community as a Housing Strategy: The project aims to provide better and affordable housing through: building customer capacity, improving agency capacity and increasing community capacity. To achieve this, the project funds will be used to:
1. Hire a full-time case manager (resident life coordinator) to provide care in a 24-hour assisted home and provide residents with a unified support system and one-stop shop
2. Hire a part-time housing attendant position to augment the current capacity of One City’s housing team Strategies for building community in community housing.
- Research for Social Change Lab – Trent University, $49,188, Investigating Shelter (In)Justice in Peterborough: Documenting how Peterborough’s coordinated access system works in practice.
- Peterborough Housing Corporation, $197,512 Hunt Terrace Supportive Housing: The project commits 40 units of the Hunt Terrace building at 555 Bonaccord St. as an inventory on the City of Peterborough’s nominated priority list of people suffering from chronic homelessness broken down as follows:
1. 20 units for Peterborough Regional Health Center Alternative Level of Care (ALC) beds – 6 units for the VON waiting list for individuals requiring assisted living
1.15 units for the City of Peterborough’s named list of people affected by homelessness.