Sault Ste. Marie to Participate in the Third Cross-Canada Coordinated Point-in-Time Homeless Count
During the week of October 25-29th, The District of Sault Ste. Marie Social Services Administration Board (DSSMSSAB), in partnership with the local Homelessness Prevention Team will conduct the annual Point-in-Time (PiT) Count, a coordinated effort to measure homelessness across Canada. Notable changes have been made to this year’s count in an attempt to capture not only homelessness, but hidden homelessness, sometimes known as “couch-surfing”
Throughout this week trained volunteers will count and survey people who are currently staying in shelter, short-term housing, couch-surfing, hospitalized, incarcerated, or without shelter. On October 26th between 12 noon and 4:30 pm, a community count of local unsheltered individuals will be completed by the local Homelessness Prevention Team.
The local Homelessness Prevention Team is made up of numerous community agencies including The DSSMSSAB, Ontario Aboriginal Housing Services, John Howard Society, Canadian Mental Health Association Algoma, Pauline’s Place, St. Vincent’s Place, Sault Area Hospital, Algoma Treatment and Remand Facility, and the Indian Friendship Center.
New to this year’s count response, a hotline will be set up for the community to call in order to complete a survey on their housing status phone line will be manned by professional frontline local Homelessness Prevention Team members. Individuals interested in participating in the survey can call 705-759-5480 between Monday, October 25, and Friday, October 29, between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm.
The results from the PiT Count will be made available publically and will indicate the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in Sault Ste. Marie at any given point. The survey will provide all sectors with key data on gender, age, ethnicity, veteran status and more. This initiative will continue to improve understanding and community response strategies to the needs and circumstances of the people who are affected by homelessness in the community.
The 2021 PiT count will also allow for progress to be measured over the past two years and assist the Homelessness Prevention Team with achieving the ultimate goal of ending chronic homelessness in Sault Ste. Marie.
The Sault Ste. Marie PiT Count has received support from Reaching Home Canada, a Federal program aimed at providing direct support and funding to communities across Canada through Employment and Social Development Canada.
“I am honored to be a part of our third Point-in-Time count. Our goal is to get an enhanced picture of our true homeless population and what services we can provide and improve to better support individuals. DSSMSSAB, along with our partners, have numerous trained volunteers who will be hitting the streets providing valuable information. This count continues to support the federal initiative to end homelessness and is in line with the DSSMSSAB 10 year housing and homelessness plan. As a community, we are focused on the goal of ending chronic homeless in Sault Ste. Marie, and this is an important step in getting there.”
Elysha Cuglietta, Housing and Homelessness Supervisor, Housing Services
“I am pleased to announce that our community will once again be joining the movement towards ending homelessness by participating in this year’s expanded national Point-In-Time Count. This is another excellent opportunity that will allow Social Services to measure the dedicated work by our staff and community partners who provide assistance to our community’s most vulnerable individuals by helping them attain and retain safe, affordable housing and achieve our goals as part of the 10 year housing and homelessness plan.”
Jeff Barban, Director of Housing Services, DSSMSSAB
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