Since 2002, the Homeless Coalition of Windsor-Essex County has acted as the Community Advisory Board for federal homelessness funding. Accordingly, the Homeless Coalition, in cooperation with the community, is responsible for developing and evaluating community plans. With the support of the community, three comprehensive homelessness community plans have been developed to date. This work has resulted in over 3.3 million dollars being allocated to our community. In the fall of 2008 the Government of Canada announced that it is committed to funding housing and homelessness programs until 2014.
The Homeless Coalition of Windsor-Essex County remains committed to involving a broad cross section of the community in establishing the priorities for the homelessness community plan. As in the past, communities are required to establish their own priorities as they relate to supports and facilities across the housing-support continuum. Two population groups remain a priority and these are Aboriginal persons and youth.
The community forum held today at Caboto Club presented comprehensive agenda items, amongst which presentations on Municipal Response to Homelessness and Reflections on past community plan priorities, etc. from Liz Atkinson Plato, the Chair of the Homeless Coalition, Lucy Sobcyzk – City of Windsor, Sarah Hopkins -Service Canada, Heather Mullins and Colleen Mitchell.
It was also an opportunity to bring forward the experiences and concerns regarding homelessness in Windsor-Essex and included the participation in a collaborative community process that will establish local priorities for funding and result in a four year comprehensive community plan. Copies of the updated ten year Inventory of Resources were distributed and presentations were made on current local research on homelessness and the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.