Homeless Count In Leduc

Pipestone Flyer

It’s hard for a parent to wonder if their child is developing properly if they don’t know where they will be sleeping at night. To help combat the issue of homelessness, Leduc County FCSS will use a federal government grant to find out how many people are either homeless or facing homelessness in the community.

“We see homelessness in all programs we provide,” said Laurel Fitzsimonds, director of Leduc County Family and Community Support Services.

Using a broad definition of homelessness to include people living in shelters, living in their cars, and couch surfing FCSS staff will spend the next several months conducting an estimate to determine the number of homeless people and people at risk of becoming homeless in Leduc County, using a $119,500 grant from the Alberta Rural Development Network,

“It’s been there all along. It’s a very well hidden problem,” she said.

Working with the Leduc and District Food Bank, churches, Leduc Foundation and Calmar, Warburg and Thorsby FCSS, Fitzsimonds said they are hoping to come up with a more definitive number then they currently have now.

Fitzsimonds estimate between one and three per cent of Leduc County’s population is homeless, which amounts to between 200 and 600 people.

“Will we find them all? Will we help them all? No, I don’t think so,” she said.

Once the estimate is complete, Fitzsimonds said they will look at putting these people in contact with available services and see if current services need to be expanded.

The reasons people face homelessness, she said, vary. They can include mental health issues, addictions or physical issues or violence in the home.

“If you’re hurt and can’t work, you can’t pay your rent,” she said.

Often a small problem can spiral into a bigger problem as people fall further and further behind and can’t find a way to stop it.

“This is not just people choosing not to work”, she said. “We need to go back and remove the barriers.”

Once the barriers to homelessness are addressed, Fitzsimonds said, the rest of the issues facing an individual or family can be addressed.

“We need to make sure they have a safe, warm roof over their head first.”

Fitzsimonds is also hoping the estimate will bring the issue into the public’s eye.

“Society doesn’t want to look at it because it makes them uncomfortable,” she said. “People assume things about the homeless and we need to take homelessness out of the realm of judgement.”

The estimate is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“We’re very excited to have this opportunity. There’s a growing awareness around this issue and we want the public to understand this is not a choice,” she said. “Very few people choose to be homeless.”

Just Posted

Rural crime epidemic a focus for UCP

Drayton-Devon MLA Mark Smith says UCP trying to get NDP’s attention

Stoics, Schopenhauer and the crime epidemic

Hold the criminals responsible; they chose their path

City council strays from liquor retail restrictions for cannabis industry

Wetaskiwin looking to avoid cannabis black market

Eliminating the free dump week in Wetaskiwin not a viable solution

Writer says decision means city can’t attain 90 per cent diversion

Two arrested in Leduc County after Thorsby RCMP drive by rural break-in in progress

Thorsby RCMP prevent break and enter, find other stolen property

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Heavy ice off Canada coast strands pod of dolphins, fixating small town

The small Newfoundland community, Heart’s Delight, is fixated on plight of trapped dolphins

Foreign election interference a reality, says Trudeau after Putin re-election

Trudeau said the heavy use of social media and interference by foreign actors are the new reality in elections.

Canadians joining #DeleteFacebook amid fears of electoral meddling

Privacy experts say numerous Canadians are taking to other social media platforms to join in on the #DeleteFacebook hashtag

Schools close as spring snow storm tracks toward Maritime provinces

Schools are closing across the Maritime provinces as a spring snow storm tracks towards the region.

Son of late Canadian professor fights for mother’s release from Iran

Mehran Seyed-Emami’s father, an Iranian-Canadian professor, died in an Iranian jail after being accused of spying.

Deadly crash raises questions about Uber self-driving system

The fatality prompted Uber to suspend all road-testing of such autos in the Phoenix area, Pittsburgh, San Francisco and Toronto

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Starbucks to unveil latest creation: crystal ball frappuccino

The limited-edition drink will be available starting March 22

Most Read