Results released for Leduc County’s first homeless estimate

Feb. 2, 2015 — Leduc County Family and Community Support Services’ (FCSS) first homeless estimate provides a snapshot of the homeless situation in the rural region, while enabling service providers to respond more efficiently.

The estimate, which was conducted in October 2014, found roughly 64 individuals were homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

“Homelessness takes many forms and is a reality we encounter regularly through our various programming,” says Carla Liepert, County Connect Support Worker and Seniors Services Coordinator. “This estimate allows us to better serve our residents who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, through a coordinated response with other service providers.”

Leduc County collected data from more than 20 local service providers which assisted homeless individuals or families in October. This data shows that eight individuals were unsheltered, 25 were accessing short-term shelter and 10 were at risk of becoming homeless.

The homeless estimate, which will be conducted annually each fall, is part of the larger County Connect program aimed at addressing rural homelessness in Leduc County. With the estimate, Leduc County can better connect individuals with existing resources in the community, and develop new resources if required.

“As individuals become more aware of our services and the County Connect program, we anticipate the number of individuals accessing our services will increase,” says Liepert. “We are committed to working with regional agencies to ensure adequate services are being provided to our homeless population.”

The Government of Canada, through the Alberta Rural Development Network, awarded Leduc County FCSS with $119,500 last October. These funds are being used to offer supports to individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, while also educating the public about homelessness.

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