Ottawa Matters: Winter plan for homeless still 'under development'

As the winter approaches, the City of Ottawa says it is working on a plan to support the homeless population in Ottawa. 

What that plan is, however, is still under development and details are not yet known. 

“The City of Ottawa is currently developing a winter response plan to help people experiencing unsheltered homelessness. The plan will be presented to

members of city council,” a statement to Ottawa Matters from the City said. 

This comes eight months after Coun. Catherine McKenney pushed the City to declare housing and homelessness a crisis in Ottawa. 

In January, council voted unanimously in support of a motion by Somerset ward's McKenney, to declare an emergency on affordable housing and homelessness.

“I do believe that it elevates the whole discussion around housing and homelessness," explained city councillor in January.

Latest numbers by the City show that there were 6,825 individuals who accessed an emergency shelter in 2015.

Last week, homeless advocates called for the City of Toronto to release its plans for Toronto’s homeless, which the City said would be released soon.

“An implementation plan for the interim shelter recovery strategy will be brought to council in October that addresses the specific actions needed over the next 12 months, including as the weather gets cooler, to continue to ensure the shelter system is prepared to respond to the pandemic," said Mary-Anne Bedard, the general manager of the city's shelter, support and housing administration.

Bedard said the services will be available by November 15.

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