Waterloo Region Goes ALL IN to End Chronic Homelessness By 2020
While the previous provincial government set a commitment date of 2025 to end chronic homelessness, Waterloo Region has raised the stakes by aiming to achieve the goal five years early, which will make it the first mid-sized municipality in Canada to do so.
ALL IN 2020, a campaign led by the Homelessness Housing Umbrella Group (HHUG) and Wellbeing Waterloo Region (WWR), is focused on raising the $700,000 needed to house approximately 260 people by November 2020.
The funds raised will be used to provide rent subsidies to those transitioning from homeless to housing, and to set up a repair fund to incentivize landlords to participate in the program.
Chronic homelessness describes people who have been homeless for six months or more during the past year. Many of these people have complex needs when it comes to mental and physical health and addiction.
The ALL IN 2020 campaign is asking everyone in Waterloo Region to become part of the solution in a variety of ways. It calls on landlords to offer up their units and asks the public to break down stereotypes about people who are homeless and living with health issues and addictions.
With "Affordable Housing" being one of WWR’s key priority areas, this campaign is a reflection of the region’s commitment to housing everyone in the community. The campaign also supports the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal of "Sustainable Cities and Communities."
For Lynn Macaulay, Executive Director of ALL IN 2020, this campaign will be beneficial to the people it will house and the region as a whole. “Providing long-term solutions rather than responding to the symptoms of homelessness saves money and is a much more effective use of community resources,” says Lynn.
“We look forward to the day when no one in Waterloo Region is experiencing chronic homelessness. When this day arrives, not only will the quality of life improve for the people who now have a place to call home, but the health and wellness of the entire community will improve as well.”KWCF has partnered with HHUG and WWR in its commitment to accept donations and administer the ALL IN 2020 Fund, and has matched the first $25,000 in donations.
“We are pleased to be able to partner with HHUG and the organizations involved with the Affordable Housing Catalyst Group for Wellbeing Waterloo Region to support this important initiative,” said Elizabeth Heald, President & CEO, KWCF.
For anyone looking to support the ALL IN 2020 campaign, you can visit www.hhug.ca or contact a member of the KWCF team to donate. You can also join HHUG’s mailing list and find out how you can be a housing hero and help to end chronic homelessness in Waterloo Region.