Lambton gets a big boost in homelessness funding


Province says new cash targeting areas that need it most

There is more help on the way for people in Lambton County without homes.

The province is adding $202 million to Ontario’s Homelessness Prevention Program and Indigenous Supportive Housing Programs. That includes more than $2 million more in to help people in Lambton county. That’s a 57 per cent increase and brings the total provincial homelessness funding to over $5.6 million.

There are between 200 and 250 people without homes in Lambton; many find their way to three homeless shelters in Sarnia. Officials say up to 50 people a night may sleep outside.

Valerie Colasanti, general manager of social services, says the additional money will help people without homes or who are on the verge of loosing their homes.

“These funds will be used to provide the support services that individuals and families experiencing homelessness need to find housing, including rent supplements and the ‘wrap around’ supports required to ensure they remain housed, including mental health supports, harm reduction and self -sufficiency supports,” says Colasanti.

“Some of the funds will go towards the development of a plan to build more affordable and supportive housing. Additional capital funding will be required for that.” 

Lambton’s funding boost is larger than expected. “I am not sure what the funding formula was to determine the allocation,” said Colasanti, “but there has been a significant increase in the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in the County within the last two years.”

“As the cost of living rises, our government is building a stronger Ontario that leaves no one behind,” said Monte McNaughton, MPP for Lambton-Kent-Middlesex in a news release. “This investment will ensure some of the most vulnerable members of our community will have access to the support they need to have a roof over their heads and a place they can call home.”

Provincial officials add they met with communities to talk about what was needed and looked at the Auditor General’s 2021 report which called bor a better funding model for homelessness programs targetting areas where funding is needed the most.