#LetsTalkHousing - Federal Government Wants YOUR Opinion and so does the Table

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The federal govenment is looking for feedback on housing needs in Canada under the hashtag campaign #LetsTalkHousing.  This new initiative is seeking feedback from people until October 21, 2016, and the Table's Community Action Network is excited to be already working on a housing outreach campaign that can be used to let the govenrment know what residents of Lanark County want and need when it comes to good safe affordable housing for all.

You may have heard in the fall that the Table received funds from the County through the Canadian Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) and wondered why a Community Food Centre would seek and get housing related funding. The answer is both shorter and simpler than you might expect:  people who are challenged by food insecurity usually have issues with housing insecurity as well, because the roots of both are insufficient incomes that can trap people in a cycle of poverty.  The Table’s Peer Advocates spend over half of their time assisting people with housing and homelessness related issues.   Because of this, we decided to respond to the County’s request for proposals for CHPI funded projects, hoping to do more work supporting members of our community facing housing challenges.  We wanted to work with our neighbours and hear from them directly to identify common concerns across the county and what needs to be done to address them. The volunteers in The Table’s Community Action Network (C.A.N.) are taking the lead on this initiative. C.A.N. seeks to empower people living in poverty and their allies, through collective organizing and action. This recent project began in January of 2016 and the volunteers have been busy working together to plan the outreach, create the survey, and consent forms, and on May 10th the group presented to the Lanark County Housing Coalition sharing their work to date,  It was the first public presentation for the group and the release of their official mission statement which reads:

“We are a practical, local community group playing a part in the 20,000 Homes campaign in Lanark County.  We act on housing insecurity issues to help create dignified solutions for local residents.  Our team will do this through outreach, surveys, interviews, needs assessments, and community forums.  We seek to engage a county wide group of those most affected to take action for needed change.”

The next steps in this ambitious project will be finding the foks with housing issues to participate in the survey and getting the survey rolled out in the local communities.  The team is looking at starting this work In July, and is hoping you might be interested in sharing your experience, or know someone who would be.  To get involved, or to refer someone who you think would be interested in participating in the survey, please contact Beth Schilling, the Advocacy & Volunteer Coordinator at beth@thetablecfc.org or 613-267-6428 x4. 

And if you want to know more about teh federal government's campaign check out this link https://www.letstalkhousing.ca/