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Waterloo Region the first community to participate in Canada-wide campaign to battle homelessness

A first for our area as Waterloo Region becomes the first community in Canada to participate in the Canada-wide 20,000 Homes Campaign.

It’s aimed at getting a clearer picture of how many people are homeless here.
The ultimate goal is to eventually find housing for the region’s most vulnerable people.

Short term, officials hope to house up to 40 people this winter.

To that end, regional staff and volunteers will be canvassing local shelters and the streets today and tomorrow.

They’ll be conducting health and housing surveys with homeless people.
That data will be used to create a community-wide registry.

Some of that information will be released on Wednesday.

Marie Morrison, from Waterloo Region Housing Services, tells 570 News, “The approach is really to know every person who is experiencing homelessness in our community by their name and to triage those who are most vulnerable and work with them to get them into housing as quickly as possible.

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness is spearheading the campaign, which is an offshoot of the U.S. 100,000 Homes Campaign.

Morrison says the surveys are voluntary and confidential.

She hopes to have success similar to what was experienced in the States, where about 90 per cent of those asked were willing to take part in the survey.

More information on the national and local campaign is available here.