(NORTHUMBERLAND COUNTY) – ‘Homeless Happens Here’, a three-day event set for October 23, 24, 25 in Port Hope’s Memorial Park, is aimed at raising awareness and encouraging community engagement with housing issues as winter approaches. Outdoor, on-site activities will provide opportunity for understanding real-life experiences of homelessness in Northumberland.
Currently, there are very critical needs for people living rough (outdoors) in the county, and the Northumberland Affordable Housing Committee is conducting a survey to help provide information to address these needs before winter hits.
“At least 2500 families are in need of housing or are at risk of homelessness in Northumberland county, and that is likely a low figure,” says David Sheffield of Green Wood Coalition. Homelessness is often hidden, and in Northumberland, too many are unaware of the reality that it happens here.
The Northumberland County Affordable Housing Committee refers to the Homeless Hub of Canada’s definition of homelessness that includes: living rough/no shelter, living in emergency shelter, living in temporary housing or being at risk of becoming homeless. Anyone who does not have a physical address in their name should be considered homeless.
Green Wood Coalition, working together with several other community agencies including Habitat for Humanity and the Haliburton, Kawartha, Pine Ridge District Health Unit, hopes to build awareness about homelessness in Northumberland. More and more, individuals and families are at risk as employment earnings and rent/housing costs stretch farther apart. Rising housing costs mean that more families are struggling to meet other basic needs like food and clothing. Social assistance rates and minimum wage rates do not provide enough money to meet the basic needs of rent and food.
Besides the opportunity to fill in surveys and have conversations about housing needs in Northumberland, Homeless Happens Here will also include art, music-making and meals. It is the hope of all involved that the community will visit the family-friendly tent display and take the opportunity to learn more about housing and homelessness.
WHAT: Homeless Happens Here
WHEN: Thursday, October 23rd to Saturday October 25th
WHERE: Memorial Park, Queen Street, Port Hope
(NOTE TO MEDIA: Members of the media are invited
to attend for photo and interview opportunities)