With an increasing number of people living on low incomes and in the absence of sufficient affordable housing, regional/local municipalities, social service agencies and faith groups find themselves being asked to respond to increased demands for assistance. There is often need for assistance by people who may be dealing with complex issues, facing challenges resulting from loss of employment, underemployment, adjusting to a new life in Canada, family breakdown, illness or disability that can negatively impacts a household’s income.
The result can be defaulting on mortgage payments, loss of a home, difficult decisions between paying the rent and feeding themselves and their families, the need to relocate to cheaper accommodation if they can find it, the need to share accommodation leading to overcrowding and the dislocation and impact on the health of an individual/family that can result from moving away from social supports. This could impact seniors, families, singles, and young people.
Sectors providing support include homelessness prevention programs, emergency food assistance, health care, transportation support, outreach services, emergency shelter and transitional housing, supportive housing, mental health support, addiction services, legal services, crisis intervention, housing help, counseling, settlement services, employment services.
The rapid pace of growth in York Region and lower funding levels from senior levels of government are posing serious challenges to the social service infrastructure’s ability to respond.