Orangeville’s Homelessness Task Force unveils vision for 2024

November 16, 2023   ·   0 Comments


Orangeville’s Homelessness Task Force is working to provide a guiding light toward hope in the community and surrounding area.

Erin Goodyear, vice-chairperson of the Homelessness Task Force and executive director of the Dufferin Men’s Shelter, outlined during Orangeville council’s Nov. 13 meeting the group’s work plan for 2024.

The task force will continue its work toward affordable housing solutions in Orangeville and the surrounding area.

“We are considering affordable housing solutions that are creative and supportive,” she said.

The task force has identified four main areas of concern. Addressing those facets of the homelessness issue in Orangeville will be four pillars of the task force’s 2024 work plan.

Regarding zoning land use and planning policies, the group will review the Official Plan and make recommendations to adjust land use policies to allow for more affordable housing.

Another pillar has to do with facility use and the need for the municipality to provide safe, temporary spaces for the homeless population within facilities, specifically during hours when the homeless shelter is not open.

“We will do this through exploring the community safety and wellbeing plan,” Goodyear said. “We will also work with local shelters … to avoid overlapping (hours of service) and gaps in service.”

Environmental scans in all indoor spaces will be done to ensure available equipment is consistently accessible for people who are in need, she said.

Showers and food security will be worked on through community partnerships. The task force will also work to ensure social workers and mental health professionals are available.

The group’s third focus will be to advocate for people who are homeless or nearly homeless. That advocacy is not only to the town but on a federal-provincial-county level.

As a group, the task force is to attend council meetings to express the concern the community is facing and request assistance at every level of government. 

The task force will also endeavour to strike a sub-committee to address gaps in housing stock and to define what affordable housing is. 

“This task force understands that, in order for change to happen, we must do the work that is needed to educate and advocate on behalf of others,” Goodyear said. “Our hope is to foster the development of a critical path of support in our community.

“This path would be the guiding light and give people hope.”

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