Homeless Estimation Project Set for April 2018

The Cold Lake John Howard Society will be conducting a survey from April 1 to April 30, 2018 to find out the number of homeless people in Cold Lake. The survey, which was designed by the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN), keeps identities confidential, and requires consent and a signature from the individual prior to it being initiated.

The Society is looking at four forms of homelessness; unsheltered, emergency sheltered, provisionally accommodated, and at risk homeless.

Leah Ferris, Executive Director for the Cold Lake John Howard Society explained, “The survey will help us get a better idea of the forms of homelessness in Cold Lake. We will be giving out the surveys to approximately eleven organizations in the area, including such places as the Dr. Margaret Savage Crisis Centre, and Kokum’s House, and then training the staff on how to conduct the surveys.”

Ferris said that after the survey ends, their report would be complete by the end of June at the latest, and that the findings would be shared with the Cold Lake Mayor and City Council.

Ferris and Dani Angell (new contract member at the Cold Lake John Howard Society) attended the March 27, 2018 Regular Cold Lake City Council Meeting, where they presented their delegation to the Mayor and City Council.

After hearing their presentation about the Homeless Estimation Project, and the education programs they are running in April and May (Youth Emotion, Emotion Management, STOPlifting Course for youth and adults), Cold Lake City Councillor Kirk Soroka said, “You give people hope to get back on track.”

The Society is actively looking for board members, and are in talks with government officials regarding a short term (up to one year) residential place.

Ferris stated, “It could be for an overnight stay, but we mainly want to use it to help people transition and become independent.”

The society has seen an increase in their referrals from probation, and shared several success stories of how they helped connect people with the various resources they needed.

The Cold Lake John Howard Society is located at 5220-54 Street in Cold Lake.