For 75 years our singular priority as United Way of Peterborough & District has been to ask ourselves: what does our community need and how we collectively respond to those challenges with conviction and hope? All while bringing together resources, goodwill, and a strategic promise to effectively invest time, money, and voice to ensure equal opportunity for all to build a better life.
Homelessness is a pressing concern for many Canadians. The question of ‘Why” resonates across this country — from the deep concern that arises when you pass someone who is homeless and living on the street to the despair and hopelessness felt by the person who is struggling to find a safe and affordable place to stay. We all ask “what can be done” or even more boldly “what must be done?”
Our community… our home… Peterborough has a strong and honourable history of actively responding to the needs of our homeless neighbour and is reflected in the work of numerous agencies, advocates, and coalitions. Indeed there is an ever evolving political will – federally, provincially and municipally – to address our shared concern for the homeless. The simple truth is we all suffer when homelessness exists in our communities. This report calls us – all of us – to deepen our community wide effort to address this issue and to truly hear and listen to the voice of those who are impacted by this issue on a daily basis.
It is time to ask ourselves what it might take to end homelessness in Peterborough. What approaches are needed? How do we involve the entire community in this work? How do we build on and enhance the tireless attention to this issue that so many committed people have championed for years? And finally how will we measure progress?
To that end the Point in Time Count is the starting point on this journey. We must continue to gather together comprehensive information, in a statistically rigorous manner, and consistent with similar communities across the country from those who are homelessness. Giving Voice….Peterborough’s 2016 Point in Time Count of Homelessness is a snap shot of homelessness in our community. This report serves to inform and perhaps to guide and indeed to provoke collective action based on the voices of those most affected.
Certainly, this undertaking was not United Way’s alone. Throughout this report you will see acknowledgement of thought leaders, advocates, and organizations concerned about homelessness – all whom supported this undertaking. I would like to draw special attention to the efforts of Dorothy Oliver, Chair of the HPS Community Advisory Board, Lisa Smith Director of Philanthropic Impact, and Erica Richmond, PiT coordinator. The collaborative-ness, energy, and aplomb in this inaugural undertaking was inspiring.
Finally, dare we say “we can end homelessness in Peterborough”
Jim Russell B.S.W., M.S.W.
Chief Executive Officer
Key Findings: PiT Key Findings – One Pager