Leamington surveying homeless and those experiencing housing insecurity

File photo courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Bialasiewicz

Coming up with a “made-in-Leamington” solution for homelessness is not an easy task if reliable local data is lacking, so officials will be surveying the municipality’s homeless population this week.

The survey starts Monday and will continue to Friday, and the results will help find a sustainable solution to end housing insecurity.

Over the past year, officials from service agencies, the faith community, businesses, and the municipality have met to discuss solutions as part of its Leamington Homelessness Project.

Ultimately, the project is expected to better understand the issues, collect data, and come up with recommendations.

“In order to best serve unhoused folks and those at risk of homelessness, we need a stronger understanding of the data in our area,” explained Project Leader Alissa Enns. “It is critically important that the voices of those with lived experience are centred within and inform this final report.”

The survey will be conducted during business hours at the South Essex Community Centre, St. John’s Anglican Church, and The Bridge.

“Not only does this homelessness surveying initiative provide a way of being counted, but it also allows those who are experiencing housing insecurity or homelessness to connect with services,” said Mayor Hilda MacDonald.

“The issues of housing instability and homelessness don’t just affect the people who are directly involved in those situations. They affect the entire community,” added SECC Executive Director Carolyn Warkentin. “That’s why it’s important for everyone to be as involved as possible — if you know someone who is struggling, please encourage them to come to one of the survey locations to share their story.”