Blogs: President Jules Hawkins
Blogs: PP Colleen Mitchell


This week I am turning my attention to an important community social issue – Homelessness. Joyce Zuk, the Executive Director of Family Services Windsor-Essex, and the lead agency for Windsor-Essex Housing Connections talked to the Club about the state of homelessness in Windsor-Essex County. We heard about the Point-in-Time Count which for the first time was conducted in April 2016. The count resulted in 201 people being identified as experiencing homelessness on any given night. 
Joyce told us about a solution that was implemented in our community 2 years ago. It is an approach called Housing First which means that all people have a right to housing and the first solution to supporting someone who is homeless is to provide them with a permanent home. Since the program started in July 2015 there have been over 150 people housed and more importantly most have maintained their housing. 
It is not easy to hear that people and this includes families too - are living on the street in our community. This is why service projects are so important. Our Club’s work in partnership with the Salvation Army is one of the ways we contribute to supporting people and families who are experiencing homelessness. Some of our community service grants have also supported organizations working in this area. This year when we participate in the annual Socks and Bottoms project lets keep in mind the 201 people living on the street on any given night. 
Rotarians Making a Difference!
Yours in Rotary
President Colleen