"75% of those affected by homelessness have children under 18"said keynote speaker Brain Carney, CEO of Blue Sea Philanthropy.
Carney gave a very personal, open, honest account of his journey. He gave multiple examples demonstrating that this is a Canadian wide issue. "Money invested in housing solutions is better", he stated. "You are not alone. Other people are bothered too... Housing matters".
The forum including a distinguished group of panelists that included Alyssa Gremmen Program Manager of the POSSE project, social worker Jason Palmer from MTH, Melissa Hillier Client Services Supervisor at Halton Women's Place described how they had to turn away more than 400 women last year due to lack of capacity, Amber Armstrong Employment Support Worker at Community Living Burlington outlined the special work of Housing Alternatives Network Directive (HAND) supporting those families with developmental needs, and Maureen Andrews from Toronto Regional Police Service where she is Regional Controller for Commande. Andrews reflected;
"Helping one person at a time is really rewarding"
The work of these agencies, including Milton Transitional Housing is making a difference. Four people have now formally graduated from Milton Transitional Housing and achieved independent living. In these four years, MTH has helped 9 adults and 7 children, including those currently in the program. Carney's own perception is that MTH has "been punching above its weight and age".
Blue Sea Philanthropy are the charitable organization, based in Kitchener, behind the Coldest Night of the Year event. The date for the 2016 Coldest Night was also announced - February 20th, 2016. Tell your friends, family and community.
The forum was made possible through the Ontario Trillium Foundation grant. Congratulations to Donna Danielle for an excellent job hosting the speakers and the wider communication team and volunteers on such an important and well run event.
Look out for further coverage in the Milton Canadian Champion. There will also be a Charity Spotlight about Blue Sea Philanthropy on the Opencityinc.com blog in the coming weeks. You can review more from the forum by search #MTHforum2015 on Twitter. According to Hashtracking.com this created 27,000 impressions on Twitter.