Council continues to combat homelessness in London

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

London continues to work on curbing homelessness in the city.

During Tuesday’s council meeting, Lynne Livingstone, Managing Director of Neighbourhood, Children and Fire Services provided councillors with the 2011-2015 report on London’s Homelessness Prevention Plan.

“[We are seeing] individuals with a high turnover [at our shelters]. That is an area for us to focus on,” Livingstone said. “We are also seeing an increase in youth using our shelters.”

According to the report, homelessness declined by approximately 21% over the five-year period.

“[At our shelters] we are actually supporting people appropriately,” Livingstone said. “The objective is that emergency shelters are there when they need to be, but people are rapidly diverted to housing.”

Councillor Jessie Helmer says greater compensation should be offered to homeless people that volunteer for city surveys.

“It’s 20 minutes of their time. It is going over a lot of personal stuff,” Helmer said. “I said at the committee [that] perhaps we should increase that frankly.”

Council is working on determining an increase in the amount of money for participants.

Councillor Harold Usher applauded the work by Livingstone and city staff. He says many organizations and municipalities work hard to provide shelter for citizens.

“It crosses party lines, it has crossed different civic administrations [and] it has crossed different councils here,” Helmer said. “I hope we can accelerate that kind of progress here in the city of London.”

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