2013 Report Card on Ending Homelessness
Each year since 2005, the Alliance to End Homelessness has published a summary of progress in reducing – and ending – homelessness. Building on the time and effort of countless committed individuals and led until 2013 by our former Executive Director, Lynne Browne, we are pleased to present this 10th annual Report Card.
It’s timely to look back 10 years, just as we look ahead, with the City of Ottawa’s adoption for 2014 of a new 10-year plan, boldly titled ‘A Home for Everyone’ – and naming as our community’s goal an end to long-term homelessness within 10 years.
In some areas, progress over the past 10 years has been slow. For example, we know that in 2013 over 10,000 households contacted the Social Housing Registry of Ottawa to ensure their place on the waiting list, an increase from 2012.
At the same time, there is reason for hope. Our community is rich with knowledge on how to prevent and end homelessness – illustrated, in part, in the program successes identified inside. Efforts have been bolstered since 2011 by the City’s annual $14M Housing and Homelessness Investment Plan. And for the first time since 2005, the total nightly use of shelter beds in our emergency shelter system declined from 2012 to 2013.
Turning the goals of our 10-year plan into reality will depend – more than ever before – on leveraging the investments and support of governments, the community, the private sector and social services. With the knowledge of what works, now is the time to sustain and enhance our investments, reducing long-term costs to the public purse, and restoring dignity for all of our neighbours. We have a plan. The City has stated its goal. To achieve the results we want, we need to do more in the short-term, to get ahead for the long-term.
Chair, Board of Directors