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Expert: No community immune from homelessness

An international expert on ending homelessness confirms that small towns in our district like Cochrane and Moosonee do have homeless people..

Iain DeJong is working this week with the Cochrane District Social Services Administration Board. He spoke last night to Timmins City Council.

“No community in the country is immune from homelessness,” he stated. “And I would say while we’re waiting for more current data from point and time enumeration, there’s enough proof points throughout the country that show homelessness has in fact increased since the pandemic.”

Among other items on his agenda this week, DeJong will help CDSSAB evaluate the work it’s already done to remedy homelessness, and how best to spend the extra provincial money recently announced for that purpose.

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Another myth DeJong de-bunks is that transitional housing is the best approach, rather than permanent housing with supports to battle the person’s other issues.

“If we want someone to learn life skills of independent living, better to teach them in he place they’re going to stay forever, rather than teaching them and just when they’re successful at those life skills say ‘You’ve done so great, you need to be destabilized and move again.”

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