Frontenac County summit on rural housing conditions, poverty addresses several pertinent issues

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By Craig Bakay

News — “Homelessness was not a word I used — housing security and poverty were easier to start a conversation about,” consultant Kim Allen told the Summit on Rural Poverty in Frontenac County in Sharbot Lake Friday.

Allen was commissioned by Northern Frontenac Community Services and South Frontenac Community Services Corporation with United Way funding to produce a study. In order to gather information, Allen has met with several groups in the County (including NFCS, SFCSC, schools, service providers).

“Home, security, food, those conversations are all intertwined,” she said. “It’s hard to talk about homelessness in rural communities because we don’t have the numbers and it’s unclear whether that’s the result of visibility.

Guest speaker Deirdre Pike, senior planner for Social Planning & Research Council of Hamilton agreed.

“The vision of a homeless person as an old white man who’s missing teeth just isn’t accurate,” she said. “About 300 times a month, women in Hamilton are turned away from shelters.

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Article and image source: Frontenac Gazette

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