The City of Peterborough launched its 2016 United Way campaign at Sherbrooke Fire Hall with an employee BBQ this week. Attendees dressed their yummy hamburgers as Chief Snetsinger welcomed the crowd.
The City’s goal for this campaign was announced as $75,075 in honour of United Way’s overall theme of 75 Years of Caring.
Campaign Chair Gwyneth James thanked the City for their unwavering support throughout United Way Peterborough and District’s 75 years in the community:
“The folks here really understand that a strong city benefits everybody," she says, adding "Building up an individual in need of short-term relief by having their basic needs met allows them to move towards finding that job, which in turn helps Peterborough’s economy as a whole.”
United Way CEO, Jim Russell also emphasized the impact the City’s campaign has had: “The City of Peterborough always shows up in a big way to support our community. The $71 million invested over the last 75 years could not have happened without this type of support, so thank you all!”
To learn more about the United Way of Peterborough and all they do in the community, go here.
For 14 hours on March 22nd, 2016, 50 volunteers set out in teams to conduct surveys on the street, in shelters, and at meal programs across the city.
They asked questions such as this:
Where are you staying tonight?
How many different times have you experienced homelessness?
What do you think is preventing you from finding and keeping long term stable housing?
What emerged from those questions was a story of individuals young and old, educated and working—some suffering from addiction, some fleeing abusive relationships, some agonizing over family breakdown, and most wanting to have their story told and understood.
The United Way Peterborough and District just released to the community more specific results from that night on the streets in their first ever "Point in Time Count" of homelessness in Peterborough. This city was one of 31 communities across the country that took part in conducting this ground-breaking research through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy.
Here are some highlights from the report...
-> A minimum of 120 people were homeless in Peterborough on March 22nd, 2016
-> 54% were chronically homeless, having spent over 6 months homeless in the past year
-> 64% experienced homelessness for the 1st time before their 26th birthday
-> 20% have attended post-secondary school
-> 98% have some form of income
-> The top 3 reasons for homeless among participants were: family breakdown, addiction/substance abuse, and unsafe housing.
The public is encouraged to review the full report here and to reflect on next steps in our community to have a strategic focus on ending the reality of homelessness.
You can also give to an Indiegogo campaign to help a documentary being made on the Warming Room's guests.