UW Perth-Huron targets homelessness in Goderich area

Ryan Erb – Executive Director, Perth-Huron United Way (photo by Bob Montgomery)

The Perth-Huron United Way is launching a separate campaign this year to address homelessness in the Goderich area.

Executive Director Ryan Erb told Goderich council Monday they are hoping to raise upwards of $65,000 that will allow them to hire a person who will find housing, and then set up support for the people living in those homes.

“An individual may also be facing an addiction in addition to the fact that they’re homeless. They might be a low-income resident that can’t afford to pay for their rent,” he said. “It’s usually not just one thing that helps somebody become homeless, so they’re there for a variety of reasons.”

Erb said homelessness has become more visible in the last few years and there are currently about 100 people in the Goderich area who identify themselves as homeless.

“We’re trying to move away from a shelter model that only houses people temporarily though to a model that houses them permanently,” he said. “So whether that’s in private dwellings where perhaps a social worker will touch base with them on a regular basis, or it’s in a capital campaign kind of style where you end up with a new building that would have 24-hour care.”