Thursday, November 20, 2008

Milton homeless survey closed

This homless survey as part of a St Paul's Church Mission and Outreach Team Mission of the Month for November has been extended until the end of December to allow for members of all Milton churches and the local Milton community to contribute to our online survey. It is entirely voluntary. We will formulate our findings and post the results in January on this blog and in St Paul's 'Herald' in February.

Thanks you for your interest.


Milton Forum

The Halton Region and Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation are sponsoring a Homeless Forum for the halton Region. It aims to discuss
- Halton's Homelessness Framework
- Current gaps in the housing and homelessness continuum
- Priorities for future initiatives to address homelessness and eviction prevention

It takes place on Friday November 28th 1pm - 4.30pm at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Cafe Annex 680 Plains Road West, Burlington, Ontario. There are two speakers Rick Craven (Regional Councillor) and Adelina Urbanski (Commissioner Social & Community Services). Please RSVP by Friday Nov 21, 2008 to Lori-Ann Gomez at the Halton Region

I think this is a wonderful initiative. Well done. I hope the town of Milton can follow suit at a more local level in the Spring of 2009 with a local Milton forum of stakeholders, interested parties and media.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Mission of the month - survey

St Paul's Church Mission and Outreach Team have the homeless in Milton as our Mission of the Month for November.

We are keen for members of St Paul's and the Milton community to complete our online survey. It is entirely voluntary. We will formulate our findings and post the results in December on this blog and in St Paul's 'Herald'.

Click Here to take survey

Thanks you for your interest.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I had a meeting tonight at St Paul's where we talked about the issues, the possibility of inviting the homeless to free food at the Soulfood sessions in future and to possible ways to address the homeless and affordable housing issues. One proposition could be to bring all interested parties to a half day forum after New Year to brainstorm whether there are other interested parties who should be invited to the table.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Affordable Housing

There is a significant overlap between the Homeless and need for Affordable Housing. There are various initiatives in Milton and the Halton Region supporting Affordable Housing. In the Canadian Champion Milton today October 15th, Melanie Hennessey wrote a latest piece on the issue. She was reporting on a message delivered by Miltonian Christina graham to the Region's health and social services committee. She is a participant in the Halton's Voices for Housing Choices' program.

Salvation Army, Milton

I visited the Salvation Army off Main Street in Milton today to donate and ask them about the homeless in Milton. They were unsure of where someone seeking shelter in Milton should go. They pointed me to the Women's refuge and told me about the Food program on Nippissing Road. They did think there was a shelter in Milton but were not sure where it was located. they had a homeless young person come to the Thift Store last week. The manager was able to assist them. The Thrift store are able to offer one days clothing.

Congratulations Lisa Raitt - now the work begins

The Conservative candidate Lisa Raitt has been elected as the Halton Riding MP. Our challenge will be to push her towards acknowldging the issue and raising the issue amongst Halton and in Ottawa. Good luck.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Weeks progress

This week I have had an email from someone involved in a church outreach committee in Milton and I have spoken to the chair of the Affordable Housing Coalition in Milton. They have both been able to educate a little further about the current activities undertaken by a few.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Me to We

I have been reading a book Me to We written by two Toronto young people Craig and Marc Kielburger. It is categorized as a self help book. "Imagine waking up every morning believing that your actions can make a difference". They founded a charity called Free the Children. In their book they describe a Yugoslavian lady called Agnes. She trained as a teacher. She became ill with the potentially fatal disease of tuberculosis. She recovered, took in a dying woman. In 1979 she won the Nobel Peace Prize. she formed the Missionaries of Charity organisation which has 500 centres in 120 countries. We know her as Mother Teresa. One person can make a difference. I recommend the book.

Understanding the scale of the issue

It is not the homeless that are the problem, it is the fact that there are homeless people in Milton that is the issue and one the community needs to take action to support them. I think step 1 is an assessment of the scale of the issue. A survey monkey questionnaire link will follow shortly.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Vision for the homeless in Milton

What is our vision for the homeless in Milton? That they should go out of town somewhere else or that we should care for them in amongst our own affluent community? Without a vision, we cannot have a strategy or action plan. What is our vision? A short term vision or goal should be to make some seasonal provision for the homeless in Milton. This could be one of many things:
1) Help and advice
2) A soup kitchen
3) Provision for clothing/ blankets
4) A voice in the community
5) Community support
6) Transport to shelters outside Milton
7) Demanding answers from our community leaders and regional MPs
8) Comments on this blog

Practical ways to help

1) Write to the four Halton Riding election candidates
2) Attend and ask questions at Milton Town Council meetings
3) Offer to help
4) Write to the Milton Canadian Champion (555 Industrial Dr, Milton Ont. L9T 5E1 Tel: 905 878 2341
5) Offer to donate blankets, food and clothing

Vulnerable teens

The homeless in Milton includes vulnerable teens (runaways and addicts). there are several individuals investigating and a boarding house offering help. Each week it appears people have been evicted from houses in Milton with no-where else to go. They are dependent on the compassion and charity of individuals to get them by. We need a strategy and structured plan for our community. I am told there are several people sleeping outside in Milton every night. It is fall now and night-time temperatures will soon be falling.

Halton Riding election

The Halton Riding's election candidates are hitting the campaign trial. we should be asking some tough questions of them in what they are doing for the homeless in Milton, Ontario fastest growing town. "Is homelessness a priority with their party? Is it even on their radar?". The candidates are Garth Turner (Liberal), Lisa Raitt (Tory), Rob Wagner (NDP) and Amy Collard (Green) Everyone of us in Milton has a responsibility to be writing to each of the four candidates to ask these questions and expect answers. Public advocacy does work and politics does react to public opinion. If is important to us it will be important to us.

Google search

I have done a Google search on homeless in Milton. The Salvation Army's Lighthouse Center in Oakville is found, plus the recent articles in the Milton Canadian Champion. There was a link to a site where someone was looking at blanket donations but the last posting is several years old. The Thrift Store in Milton was identified. i could not find anything else of relevance.

Milton Town Council

On the search for what Milton is doing to make provision to care for the homeless in Milton I visited the Milton Town Council website. I am shocked and sickened to find that doing a search on the Town Council's website that there is no results or references to the homeless. None. Nothing, at all. How can we ignore the matter and pretend it doesn't exist.

St Paul's Church, Milton

I listened to a sermon in this last week where it was pointed out that there is a homeless problem in Milton, Ontario - our community. That homeless people come to look for help and shelter and that there is no provision for them in Milton itself. Despite the apparent affluence of the fastest growing town in Ontario, the homeless are directed to the small Lighthouse Shelter run by the Salvation Army in Oakville or alternatively Hamilton, Mississauga or Toronto. This is not right.

Canadian Champion Sept 26

The Milton Canadian Champion on Sept 26 printed an Opinion on page A6 further to the previous article by Ryan Bolton on September 12th. This was titled " Homelessness can't be ignored". It echoes my own thoughts. "In a community as affluent as Halton, it's hard to believe that homelessness is a problem."

Canadian Champion Sept 12

The front page story of the Canadian Champion on September 12, 2008 was titled "Homelessness on the rise". It was a special to the Champion by Ryan Bolton. Under the front page photograph reads "With Halton's homeless population on the rise, a lack of shelters in the region is forcing many to seek a place to sleep in cities such as Hamilton, Mississauga and Toronto". Visit Well done Champion and Ryan for printing this article on the front page.