Solving homelessness starts with listening

We know a step towards better understanding homeless is to be better informed –  and, simply, to listen.

According to the Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination, homelessness encompasses a range of physical living situations, including:

  1. Unsheltered, or absolutely homeless and living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation
  2. Emergency sheltered – including those staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence
  3. Provisionally accommodated, referring to those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure
  4. At risk of homelessness, referring to those who are not homeless, but whose economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards.

Conversations about homelessness

Conversations about homelessness are hard and uncomfortable. They force us to ask what sort of community we want to live in and how we can be part of the solution. Thanks to the generous support of The Oak Tree Project and Ward 1 Studios, we are pleased to share these video conversations about homelessness in our community. They connect people with lived experience, business owners in Guelph’s downtown, and some of the agencies in the community that support individuals experiencing homelessness.

Watch the conversations

Watch the introduction
A video featuring Will Mactaggart from The Oak Tree Project and Dominica McPherson from The Poverty Task Force

Watch conversation #1 (Collaboration)
Featuring Julie Porter from the Welcoming Streets Initiative and Stephanie Pellizzari from Knar Jewellery

Watch conversation #2 (More And)
With Derrick Rutherford from Valentini Hair Design and Kristen Cairney from Wyndham House

Watch conversation #3 (Getting Involved)
Featuring Sheila Markle from Kindle Communities, Kim Richer a Kindle community member and Jason Ashdown from The Skyline Group of Companies.

Watch conversation #4 (Finding Solutions)
With community members Margo and Joe, and Gail Hoekstra, executive director of Stepping Stone.

Permanent Supportive Housing is a Proven Solution

Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) is an evidenced-based and cost-effective solution for people who are chronically homeless and/or highly vulnerable because of long-term disabilities such as mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, substance use disorders, and chronic health conditions.

PSH can be further understood by considering each component:

Permanent – Leases are held by tenants without limits on length of stay (PSH is not intended to be transitional or temporary).

Supportive – PSH links rental financial assistance with access to individualized, flexible and voluntary supports to address needs and maintain housing stability. Supports are typically provided by on-site staff and can be accessed 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Housing – PSH usually includes independent units, so people have their own private space, with common spaces that are in one home or building, or in a scattered-site arrangement in which tenants who receive support services live through out the community in housing that can be agency-owned or privately owned.