City, partners fund homelessness initiatives
Task Force projects will begin this year
Guelph, Ont., March 7, 2019– Three projects identified by the Mayor’s Task Force on homelessness and community safety will be implemented this year, thanks to funding approved by Guelph City Council and partners that include the County of Wellington, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, Local Health Integration Network, and Guelph Police Service.
The projects are:
- A Supported Recovery Room, which will offer five beds to meet sleep and recovery needs for people experiencing addiction or mental health crisis. The recovery room is funded with $150,000 from the City of Guelph, $150,000 from United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, and $150,000 from the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network (LHIN).
- An Addiction Court Support Worker program, which provides a counsellor who connects people to addiction services and supports when they are appearing before a bail court. This project is funded with $61,200 from the City of Guelph and $38,800 from the County of Wellington.
- Two Welcoming Streets outreach workers, who will provide support, education, and connections to services for individuals and businesses in the downtown. The outreach workers are funded with $91,200 from the City of Guelph, $38,800 from the County of Wellington, $10,000 from United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin, and $10,000 from the Guelph Police Services Board.
The funding approved by Council, United Way, and other partners is one-time funding to meet the urgent priorities identified by the task force. Mayor Guthrie and United Way pledged to work with partners in the coming months to develop long-term, sustainable funding plans to enable the projects to continue past 2019. Work will also continue on the two other task force priorities: the development of permanent supportive housing, and system and service improvements such as offering services on evenings and weekends.
United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin will launch a community campaign this spring to fund a portion of their commitment to the projects above. More details will be available in the coming weeks.
“I am thrilled with how quickly these partners came together to fund the urgent priorities identified by the Task Force. When I announced the task force in December, I said I wanted it to be about action, not more talk. We met in January, tabled our recommendations in February, and secured funding in March. This is virtually unheard of, and it would not have been possible without the commitment and dedication of the funding partners and task force members. I also want to acknowledge Council for their leadership on this issue.” – Mayor Cam Guthrie, City of Guelph
“The County of Wellington was an active partner in the work of the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness and Community Safety. It’s great to see such positive results come out of this important work. These projects being supported will assist some of our most vulnerable community members and will serve to make our communities stronger.” – Warden Kelly Linton, County of Wellington
“This is exactly why United Way exists; as our community’s largest non-governmental funder of social service programs, we are thrilled to play a part in the solution of homelessness and related mental health and addiction issues. We are committed to working with the members of the Task Force and our funded agencies to serve our local community’s vulnerable populations, which includes ensuring a network of basic needs and mental health supports is available to those who need it.” – Ken Dardano, executive director of United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin
Report of the Mayor’s Task Force on Homelessness and Community Safety
Mayor Cam Guthrie
City of Guelph
Communications Director, United Way Guelph Wellington Dufferin