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Everyone counts: City to capture snapshot of homeless numbers in urban area

September 24, 2013 -

The City is conducting a Point in Time Count of homeless people in the urban area of Kingston from 7 p.m. to midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 16.

"Everyone who lives here counts regardless of their residential status.  The Point in Time Count will provide staff with a snapshot of the homeless numbers in urban Kingston. This will aid staff in better serving those in need," says Sheldon Laidman, Director of Housing.

Those interested in volunteering for the Point in Time Count, can sign-up on the United Way's website at http://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/community-services/point-in-time-count/.

"We are pleased the City is taking this first step to get a sense of the homeless population on the streets of Kingston," says Bhavana Varma, President & CEO of United Way of KFL&A. "United Way is happy to support this initiative by recruiting volunteers to help conduct the street survey on October 16th."

The City's Housing Department has engaged OrgCode Consulting to assist with the count and to provide volunteers with training prior to being assigned to teams and given a safe, public, outdoor area to survey.  Special teams of professional outreach workers will conduct the count in parks and less public areas where homeless persons are likely to be found.

Starting New Year's Day, 2014, every municipality in Ontario must have a Housing and Homelessness Plan. One of the strategies identified in Kingston's 10 Year Municipal Housing and Homelessness Plan is The Point in Time Count of homeless people. The results from the survey will be publicly available and generate a baseline database of information on the homeless in the City so services can be aligned better to their needs and the success of the implementation of the 10 Year Municipal Housing and Homelessness Plan can be benchmarked.  

This Point-In-Time Count will essentially be a census of people who are homeless at the time of the Count and will consist of volunteers surveying homeless persons in emergency shelters, institutions, and on the street. Volunteers are tasked with surveying anyone on the street during the Point in Time Count. Any individuals who identify themselves as homeless will be asked to complete a brief anonymous survey that was developed in consultation with over 30 homeless service providers.

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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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