Moving people into housing from homelessness

full bike rack

Peterborough, ON – The City of Peterborough and its community partner agencies in the Built for Zero initiative, who are working together with the goal of preventing and ending chronic homelessness, helped 27 people move into housing from homeless between August 19 and August 30, 2019.

Statistics for the period show:

  • From Brock Mission, 10 men housed for September 1
  • From the overflow shelter location and outreach, 11 people (individuals and couples) housed for September 1
  • From YES Shelter for Youth and Families, five youth housed, including some in transitional housing units
  • From Cameron House, one woman housed

In 2018, the City and its community partner agencies helped an average of 28 unique households move into housing from homelessness each month.

While it’s understood that people will continue to struggle with housing instability and homelessness, the City and its community partner agencies working through the Built for Zero initiative have adopted a housing first approach to make homelessness rare, brief and non-recurring. People who are experiencing homelessness are connected with housing options and support services, when those services are needed to help people keep stable housing.

The shelter providers who work with the City, help people who use shelters connect with housing services. They understand shelters are a necessary service, but they are not the solution to homelessness. They have a housing focused approach. YES Shelter is increasing the number of transitional housing units it provides in addition to its shelter service and Brock Mission’s new shelter that’s under construction includes transitional housing units.

Quotes from partners

“Housing affordability and homelessness are complex issues that require all partners on board working towards the same goal. Built for Zero is the goal that the City and its partners are committed to. While it will not be an easy road, it is possible and we can achieve it,” Mayor Diane Therrien said.

“The Built for Zero partners continue to work every day to seek and find housing solutions for those in our community who are experiencing homelessness. Our community landlords continue to demonstrate a strong social commitment and work with Fourcast and the Built for Zero Partners to support housing solutions for those most challenged to secure and maintain housing,” said Donna Rogers, Executive Director, Fourcast.

“Every day the YES team works closely with Built for Zero partners to move families and youth into housing. We consistently see positive stories of resilient young people transitioning to a more positive adulthood,” said Meagan Hennekam, Executive Director, YES Shelter for Youth and Families.

“Homelessness in our community is a systemic problem, and as such requires a strategic, evidence-based approach to solving. United Way is proud to be partners with service providers and the City in the Built for Zero initiative. This collective response has one simple aim, to end chronic homelessness in Peterborough by 2025. Everyone deserves the dignity of a place to call home,” said Jim Russell, Chief Executive Officer, United Way of Peterborough and District.

“By working together, with a Housing First approach, community service providers are changing the conversation so people experiencing homelessness are focusing on finding their home, while being supported as they work through complex issues that have often led them to housing instability,” Bill McNabb, Executive Director, Brock Mission.

Built for Zero

Built for Zero Canada is part of the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, Built for Zero is a national change effort that includes a core group of leading communities that are working to end chronic homelessness as a first step on the path to eliminating all homelessness in Canada. It’s a structured, supportive and data-driven approach.


For further information, members of the media are invited to contact the undersigned:

Dorothy Olver
Program Manager, Homelessness Services
Social Services
City of Peterborough
500 George Street North
Peterborough, ON  K9H 3R9
705-748-8830 ext. 3635