“All that we behold is full of blessings.” -William Wordsworth

This Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for? Thanksgiving is a day of thanks, a perfect time to be grateful for family, friends, good health, a job, for having food on your table and a place you can call home. But what about the many Canadians who are not as fortunate? …The poor, the sick, the homeless. Many people believe that being homeless means that people have put themselves in this situation. But in reality, no one CHOOSES to be homeless! A job loss, a medical condition, disability, domestic violence or some other impactful life event can put you on the streets and fighting to survive. Homelessness in its most basic definition is someone who lacks access to safe, secure, healthy and affordable housing. It is estimated that between 300,000 and 1 million Canadians will experience homelessness in a given year.

Staff at the Housing Resource Centre meet families and individuals on a daily basis that are struggling with the costs of housing, utilities and the basic necessities of life. In 2013, 1171 people sought help through the Housing Resource Centre. We recognize that many affordable homes are needed and we know that we are not meeting all those needs. Did you know? 

-80% of Canada’s homeless people are sleeping in temporary beds; couch surfing, church basements, welfare motels, abandoned buildings, in tents and vehicles. 

-About one-in-seven people in shelters across Canada are children. 

-Most homeless people don’t live on the streets.

We help families and individuals gain a firm foundation upon which to build better lives. Safer, well-maintained affordable houses improve living conditions; improve the health and outlook of people of all ages. A stable home builds connection, pride, and greater opportunities for work. The cost of homelessness is far greater than to provide someone with affordable housing. Our vision, like that of the County of Simcoe, is adequate, appropriate and affordable housing for all Simcoe County residents. We will continue to be “THE FIRST STOP” for those in crisis and who need assistance to find housing that they can afford. And with your support, we will have the capacity to make a difference! But we need to urge discussion, action and change!

This Thanksgiving, what are you grateful for?

For more information, please call (705) 445-0643 or visit www.housinginfo.ca.

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