Mission to update homelessness data underway in Cochrane District
The province-wide goal of ending homelessness by 2025 requires having the most current data possible on local homeless populations, says the coordinator of the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board's Wednesday point-in-time count.
Service providers and volunteers across the social services board's catchment area have been speaking with people experiencing homelessness and asking them to answer a series of key questions anonymously.
"(Looking at) chronicity of homelessness, sources of income," said count coordinator Melanie Verreault.
"Even in terms of gender identity, cultural identity, schooling."
Find gaps in service
The goal is also to learn where gaps in services exist, including how accessible existing services are for people.
That's something that Brenda Hookimaw said definitely needs to be improved. Hookimaw has been homeless since she moved to the city from Attawapiskat three years ago and said she's been waiting to access housing the whole time.
"I'm trying to do what's best and I don't know what else to do," she said.
"I keep on going (to Living Space) asking for help ... I've been waiting and they just keep on stalling, I don't know what for."
Verreault said service accessibility has been an issue in the district and is hopeful that this data collection will reveal solutions in the future.
She said it will take a few weeks to crunch the numbers and that the social services board could have next steps planned by the fall.