Results from the Impact of the Homelessness and Drug Crisis on Businesses

Thank you to the businesses that responded to the survey. Here are the results to this survey.

We are meeting with Mayor Wren and the City Manager on Nov 28, 2023 to discuss the results. We are hoping to share these results to Joint Services also. We also have contacted the Leeds, Grenville & Lanark District Health Unit to discuss what businesses should do with sharps and the protocols. We are working with David Amot from the Health Unit. We will keep you up to date on the action plan.

Leeds Grenville info on Homelessness Help Newsletter

November 2023

As the weather begins to cool and the Housing crisis continues to grow, many are wondering what is being done to support those in our local community that are experiencing homelessness  Please find below some of the latest developments in our local homelessness response.  

In April, the Province of Ontario announced communities would receive an increase in funding through the Homelessness Prevention Program. The United Counties of Leeds and Grenville received an annual total of $3,160,000 in funding through the Homelessness Prevention Program, for the next three years. This is an increase of $1,567,700 – or approximately 98 per cent – over last year.

Currently, the local ByName List – which is a real time list of people experiencing homelessness in our community – reports that approximately 1 in 3 people are returning to homelessness.

In partnership with Lanark, Leeds Grenville Addictions and Mental Health, the United Counties has launched a new 20 bed Supportive Housing Program with some of the additional funds received. This programs will offer ongoing daily support to participants that may have mental health and/or addiction challenges that has historically made maintaining housing independently a challenge. With the successful launch of the Supportive Housing Program, plans to expand it to a 40 bed program will be investigated. 

Inflow vs. Outflow

Crisis events leading to homelessness will continue to be an ongoing reality in our community. However, with the right housing supports and services in place we can see a reduction in homelessness when more people experiencing homelessness are being housed than are becoming homeless. 

Currently, through the hard work of front line staff an average of 10 people experiencing homelessness are being housed each month, with over 220 people experiencing homelessness being housed in the past two years. However, with an average of 13 people being added to the ByName List each month, homelessness continues to be a challenge in our community. 

For further information, please feel free to contact Tracy Birtch at

Homelessness not only continues to create more trauma in a person’s life, it is also costly to the community as a whole. In 2017, At Home / Chez Soi used available data from 937 participants to estimate that the annual costs for persons struggling with homelessness and mental illness accessing social services such as emergency healthcare, police, fire, was $53,144 per person ($61,621adjusted for inflation). 

Encampment Protocol Established To date, 42 encampments have been cleared away in the City of Brockville at an estimated cost of $15,000 and requiring approximately 225 City staff hours. 

As encampments continue to pop up, a partnership between the City of Brockville, United Counties, the Brockville Police and Fire Services, and the John Howard Society outreach team was established to better respond to the encampments. A collaborative encampment service protocol was established to ensure resident and staff safety, to help encampment residents find alternate shelter arrangements and to get connected to local services before City staff begin the work of dismantling the encampment and cleaning up the remaining site. In every case, when an outreach worker or City staff engage with residents of an encampment they offer to connect them with services that will help those individuals become housed. 

In December, the United Counties will be hosting a meeting of senior leaders in the community to discuss homelessness and the creation of a three-year homelessness prevention strategy that will inform and guide the Counties’ investments and services for the next few years. In addition to the inputs of senior service delivery leaders in our community, the Counties has already collected data from frontline service providers and persons with lived experiences. It is anticipated the strategy will be finalized and shared with the broader community well before the arrival of spring in 2024.

A review of Canadian Homelessness data – 2023

More than 235,000 people in Canada (approximately 1% of the total population) experience homelessness in any given year, and 25,000 to 35,000 people may be experiencing homelessness on any given night.

This paper reviews the various data sources available for measuring the number of individuals currently experiencing or with past experience of homelessness. It also identifies gaps in the current data collection strategies and proposes solutions to start filling them.

Full Report: A review of Canadian homelessness data, 2023 (