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London, Ontario.Winter homeless response likely to support 400 people daily – London

City officials and service providers in London, Ontario, are highlighting a new homeless winter response plan aimed at supporting nearly 400 people each day.

This marks the third year in a row that the City of London and its partners have put together a seasonal program aimed at helping homeless people during the winter months.

The 2022-2023 edition builds on existing resources and is backed by a $5 million commitment from the City.

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Kevin Dickins, London’s deputy mayor for social health development, said the funds will come from social welfare relief funds from the province, COVID-19 relief funds from the federal government’s Reaching Homes programme, and the city’s already budgeted funds. It is drawn from the funds of the local government with which it is affiliated. .

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“Our lead agency, London Cares, will receive the bulk of the funding and will provide additional funding agreements to other organizations involved,” Dickins added.

“Then, we plan to set up a dedicated fund for Atrosa Family Healing Services to continue to provide Indigenous-led winter responses and to provide a small amount of bridge funding as they continue their work with Indigenous peoples. The Homeless Prevention Plan.”

By using powers delegated to London Mayor Lynn Livingston, Dickins said his staff didn’t have to wait for parliamentary approval. Her delegated authority allows Livingstone to make certain approvals, and prior to the incoming council’s swearing-in ceremony on November 15th, she will be granted the status of “Rame Her Duck” by the current Council. was granted to

“Because it is absolutely imperative that we obtain approval as soon as possible, we have activated the mayor’s delegated authority to approve the winter funding request, which will allow us to provide funding quickly. added Dickins. .

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In addition to London Cares and Atlohsa, other organizations involved in the winter response include Unity Project, The Salvation Army Center of Hope, Ark Aid Street Mission, Canadian Mental Health Association’s London Coffee House Program, Safe Space, 519Pursuit, etc.

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Anne Armstrong, executive director of London Cares, said the program will offer 258 drop-in spaces that provide visitors with essentials such as “bathing, showering, washing and eating”.

There are also 138 shelter spaces where people can stay overnight and 58 temporary spaces that are opened during cold weather alerts.

Certain spaces are tailored to specific population groups such as couples and pets, women and non-binary individuals, and members of indigenous communities.

The spaces are scheduled to open on December 1, Armstrong said, with the workload shared by multiple agencies.

“We know homelessness is a complex problem and no organization or sector will try to solve it alone,” said Armstrong.

The winter response will also establish standardized training and orientation for new staff recruited by participating institutions to better coordinate and integrate the support provided.

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Armstrong hopes there will come a time when London will no longer need a short-term winter response each year, thanks to permanent long-term solutions in place.

“We still can’t get everyone on the street indoors during the winter. really needs a multi-sector, multi-collaboration solution.

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According to Armstrong, the long-term solution lies in housing, which she says is a prerequisite for addressing the health care and mental health issues associated with homelessness.

“We are a strong advocate for supported housing and, given the complexity of the issue, more focused support,” Armstrong said.

Cooperation in this winter’s response is another key component to fighting homelessness and could benefit outreach agencies like London Cares, Armstrong added.

“It would be great to have an integrated outreach team that always included psychiatric support, health care, mental health support, and diet,” Armstrong said.

“We do a lot and meet so many people every day, but we don’t have all that expertise.”

Click to play video: 'Toronto Warns of Financial Burden During Winter Shelter Plans'

Toronto warns of financial strain during winter shelter plans

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

London, Ontario.Winter homeless response likely to support 400 people daily – London

Source link London, Ontario.Winter homeless response likely to support 400 people daily – London

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