For Immediate Release
September 9, 2021
Homelessness Count Underway Across the District of Parry Sound
Parry Sound, ON – Where are you sleeping tonight? This is one of several questions people experiencing homelessness across the District of Parry Sound will be asked on September 15th as part of the 2021 Homelessness Enumeration, a count completed every two years by the District of Parry Sound Social Services Administration Board (DSSAB), in partnership with partnering service agencies throughout the community. Data collected through the Homelessness Enumeration is typically used for a variety of purposes, from raising public awareness to applying for program funding and grants and informing current and future policy and program design across all levels of government.
The Homelessness Enumeration will be conducted using a Point in Time (PiT) method, which identifies the number of people experiencing homelessness on a single night to capture numbers and basic demographics of the people affected at a single point in time. This count is part of a province-wide effort under the directive of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, to gain a better understanding of homelessness in communities across the province and will allow the DSSAB and local partner service agencies to respond more effectively to the issue of homelessness in the district.
“Homelessness is present in our community and is oftentimes invisible,” said Tammy MacKenzie, Chief Administrative Officer of the DSSAB. “Someone does not need to be sleeping on a sidewalk to be experiencing homelessness, which makes the task of identifying those individuals more challenging. For this reason, it’s critical for us, as the Service Manager for the District, to collaborate with our key local service partners, such as the OPP, CMHA and local food security program providers, to collect accurate information so we can continue to advocate for policy change and funding from all levels of government.”
Along with the PiT count, a By-Names list of people experiencing homelessness is also being created and is to be finalized by the end of this year. That ongoing, real-time list of people experiencing homelessness will be used to help connect people to housing options and support services and create better co-ordination of services.
The Homelessness Enumeration survey is voluntary and confidential. Individuals or families who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness are encouraged to contact the DSSAB at (705) 746-7777 ext. 5209 or 1-800-461-4464 ext. 5209 to inquire about assistance available and/or be included in the Homelessness Enumeration.