If Waterloo Region was able to end chronic homelessness, more than 250 of our community’s most vulnerable people would be off the streets and have a sustainable housing plan to get their lives on track. This may sound like an overly ambitious goal, but thanks to partnerships between local housing agencies (including Lutherwood) and commitment from community groups and leaders, this goal is achievable, and soon!
With the “all in” support from our community, including from leaders such as Chief Bryan Larkin (WRPS), Mike Farwell (570 News) and Rob Way (CEO, Swiftspace), Waterloo Region has the chance to become Ontario’s (and possibly Canada’s) first community to end chronic homelessness through the recent launch of the ALL IN 2020 campaign. Championed by Well Being Waterloo Region (WWR) and the Homelessness Housing Umbrella Group (HHUG), ALL IN 2020 is a community-led plan to help house people who have been homeless the longest and have the most complex needs within two years. ALL IN 2020 Coordinator, Lynn Macaulay is confident that this plan will make a transformative, large-scale change.
“It is unacceptable that people in our community are homeless for years at a time,” Macaulay said to the crowd at the campaign launch. “Now is the time to change that.”
The campaign has a goal of raising $700,000 to provide rent subsidies and unit repair funds for people transitioning from homelessness into housing. To help kick-off the campaign, the Kitchener Waterloo Community Foundation has generously offered to match the first $25,000 in donations.
ALL IN 2020 also aims to break down the stigma of homelessness and encourages people to be a Housing Hero by helping to mobilize the community by starting conversations about homelessness and spreading the word about ALL IN 2020. In our Summer 2017 issue of InSight, our article “YOU can help end homelessness in 6 simple ways!” offered some suggestions on how you can get involved.
Lutherwood is proud to be one of a number of local partners involved in this exciting campaign and is grateful for the wonderful support and commitment from the community to ending homelessness by 2020. Lutherwood is “all in” and we hope that you will be part of the movement too.
To get involved and learn more, visit www.hhug.ca. You can also track the campaign’s progress of housing all 258 individuals currently on the priority list for housing and supports.
"I was 17, confused and thought I was a lost cause. I became homeless. I heard about Safe Haven's youth shelter, but was skeptical and scared. [But] the staff are extremely friendly and so supportive...I wasn't judged. They showed me how to cook, do a budget, and even helped me with my homework."