This Wednesday evening, with the assistance of the United Way and 118 volunteers, the City of Kingston finished its inaugural Point in Time Count of our homeless population.
The volunteers, who were trained by OrgCode, worked in pairs while conducting a four-hour count in one of 51 designated Kingston neighbourhoods in search of citizens who identified themselves as homeless.
“It was great to see such enthusiasm and commitment to a new initiative,” said Director of Housing, Sheldon Laidman. “The information the volunteers collected will allow for programming that ensures homeless Kingstonians are re-housed and, when they are, there are supports there to help prevent them from becoming homeless again.”
Over 15 agencies that provide services to help prevent homelessness or support those who are homeless are directly funded by the City. Organizations receiving that funds include emergency shelters, rent and utility arrears assistance, housing assistance and counseling.
Data from this year’s Point in Time Homeless Count will those and many other not-for-profit agencies in providing better and more targeted services for the homeless.
One of the City’s top six priorities in its Corporate Strategic Plan is to facilitate affordable housing.
Initial results from this week’s count will be compiled by mid-November and final report will be presented to the Housing and Homelessness Advisory Committee at a meeting in December.
The 2013 Point in Time Count was the first to be conducted in Kingston and are scheduled to take place every two years.