The last point-in-time count showed 665 individuals were homeless at any given time in Niagara. This number does not include the invisible homeless or those living in unsuitable or precarious housing situations. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought the severity of the homeless issue to the forefront.
Housing plays a critical role in providing the stability individuals and families need to thrive. When families don’t have stable housing, their risk of struggling with poor health outcomes and material hardships, such as food insecurity, increases substantially.
United Way believes that everyone deserves to have their basic needs met and this includes adequate, appropriate, and permanent housing. Without a permanent home, finding work, going to school, or undertaking day to day activities can be nearly impossible. A place to call home gives people the security and confidence to get back on their feet and rejoin their community with dignity.
United Way invests in programs, services and initiatives that move people toward acquiring and maintaining safe, secure, accessible, affordable and appropriate housing. These investments include emergency adult and youth shelter, outreach programs, coordinated care services for those struggling with mental health and/or addiction challenges, and transitional housing for people who are ready to take the next step towards acquiring a permanent place to live. We value investments in wrap around, housing first and supportive housing approaches that often bridge gaps from emergency shelters and precarious housing situations to permanent housing. We work to ensure individuals and families in Niagara are able to have and maintain their home and access the supports necessary to stabilize their lives.