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Building Hope, Lives and Community Since 1968. A Mission to Partner with Others Cool Aid works to eliminate homelessness by partnering with others to.

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Presentation on theme: "Building Hope, Lives and Community Since 1968. A Mission to Partner with Others Cool Aid works to eliminate homelessness by partnering with others to."— Presentation transcript:

1 Building Hope, Lives and Community Since 1968

2 A Mission to Partner with Others Cool Aid works to eliminate homelessness by partnering with others to develop community-based solutions.

3 What do the Homeless Need? In 2006, Capital Region service providers decided to ask those who were homeless what they needed to find housing.

4 Homeless Needs Survey: A Pathway to Home

5 Homeless Needs Survey 2007 Held February 5-9, 2007, partnering with 220 volunteers, 60 service providers, and 30 major donors. Managed by Victoria Cool Aid Society Research led by Community Council

6 Homeless Needs Survey 2007 An enumeration of 1,242 people, from Sooke to Sidney and Salt Spring, who were homeless or unstably housed. A survey of 815 people asking about their housing and supports needs.

7 Housing First – Plus Supports The research project concluded that people who are homeless, or at risk of becoming homeless, need: Housing First – Plus Supports

8 Common Myths

9 Myth # 1: Costly Problem Myth: The problem will cost too much to fix. Reality: A 2007 CRD report showed that locally, governments could save over $9.5 million annually by providing basic housing with supports – the savings would be $12,000 per year for each person who is homeless!

10 Myth # 2: They Flock to Victoria Myth: People come from all over Canada to be homeless in beautiful Victoria. Reality: Of the 815 people we surveyed, 73% were last stably housed in the CRD and 16% in BC, mostly Duncan and Vancouver. Only 11% were last stably housed elsewhere.

11 Myth # 3: Get A Job! Myth: People who are homeless don’t want to work. Reality: Of people who are homeless 43% earn some income and 42% want help finding a job or a better job.

12 Myth # 4: Downtown’s Problem Myth: People who are homeless live downtown. Reality: People are homeless throughout the Capital Region.

13 Where Do They Live? Most (61%) sleep in Victoria (496 people) 6% sleep in Saanich (48 people) 4% in the Western Communities (33 people) 4% on Salt Spring Island (32 people) 3% on the Saanich Peninsula (22 people) 3% in Esquimalt (24 people) 2% in an unspecified core municipality (22 people) 1% in Oak Bay (6 people) 16% did not disclose their municipality (132)

14 Myth # 5: They Like the Lifestyle Myth: People are homeless because they like the “lifestyle”. Reality: Of those surveyed 97% want permanent housing.

15 Myth # 6: Housing Is Available Myth: Anyone who wants a place to live can find one. Reality: The lack of affordable housing was identified by 78% as a barrier to their being housed.

16 The Realities of Homelessness Keeping people homeless costs $9,500,000+ locally each year! People who are homeless are mostly from the CRD – not “imports”. Many who are homeless work or want to work. Homelessness is a regional issue. 97% want permanent housing. Lack of affordable housing is the #1 issue.

17 Recommendations

18 1: Affordable Housing Options Create a variety of affordable housing options in the Capital Region. We need at least 1,242 additional units of affordable housing just to accommodate those enumerated.

19 Variety of Housing Needs Families and youth need different housing than couples and adults. Aboriginals’ unique needs call for culturally sensitive housing. Those with mental health issues and addictions need low-barrier housing with special supports.

20 2: Plus Community Supports Provide intensive community support along with housing. Some of our neighbours who are homeless need more than just basic housing – they need supports, for example, assistance with illnesses and disabilities, teaching of employment and life skills, or help overcoming an addiction.

21 3: Harm Reduction Services Provide a range of harm reduction and treatment services. A caring community meets those who are experiencing addiction respectfully – helping them first to reduce the harm to themselves and others, and later to overcome their addictions and integrate more with society.

22 4: Adequate Income Support Provide income supports for people who are homeless or unstably housed. Victoria has one of the most expensive housing markets in the country. More and more people are finding it impossible to find a place they can afford and are ending up in shelters, “camping” and on the street. Income supports need to be increased by 50% and indexed to inflation.

23 5: Short-Term Shelters Provide short-term solutions during the transition to affordable housing. Even basic housing takes years to develop. While our homeless neighbours wait, surely the prosperous Capital Region can create emergency shelters.

24 6: End Homelessness Together Engage the broader community in solutions. Businesses, individuals, teachers, school districts, community groups, everyone must work together with social service providers and government to end homelessness in the Capital Region once and for all.

25 6 Key Recommendations 1.Create affordable housing options 2.Provide a range of harm reduction and treatment services 3.More short-term shelters 4.Intensive community supports 5.Adequate income support 6.End homelessness together

26 Special Thanks to Our Partners Over 220 volunteers from the community 60 social service providers 30 major funders The Government of Canada contributed funding to this initiative.

27 What Can I Do? Learn about homelessness and talk to your friends, family and colleagues Be kind to everyone Volunteer with a caring organization Make a donation to a non-profit making a difference

28 Victoria Cool Aid Society Providing housing for the homeless Community health and dental care Emergency shelter Life skills, recreation, job training and work

29 Questions?


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