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City completes first Point in Time Count of homeless people

October 17, 2013 -

Wednesday night, the City completed its first-ever Point in Time Count of homeless Kingstonians with the help of the United Way and 118 committed volunteers.

OrgCode trained the volunteers ahead of conducting the four-hour count, during which pairs of volunteers walked the streets of one of 51 designated Kingston neighbourhoods in search of Kingstonians who would identify themselves as homeless.

"It was great to see such enthusiasm and commitment to a new initiative," says Sheldon Laidman, Director of Housing. "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."

The City directly funds more than 15 agencies that provide services to help prevent homelessness or support those who are homeless, including: emergency shelters, rent and utility arrears assistance, housing assistance and counseling. This Point in Time Homeless Count will provide baseline data to assist these agencies, as well as many other not-for-profit organizations involved in homeless services, in providing better and more targeted services. 

Facilitating affordable housing is one of the City's top six priorities outlined in its Corporate Strategic Plan.

Preliminary results from the Count will be available in mid-November with a final report to be presented to the Housing and Homelessness Advisory Committee at a December meeting. The Count is scheduled to be conducted every two years.

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Media contact: For more information contact Cindie Ashton, Communications Officer 613-546-4291, ext. 3116. Or call the City of Kingston's media hotline at 613-546-4291, ext. 2300.

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