KAWARTHA LAKES-FourCAST Addictions Services will no longer be working with the Kawartha Lakes Haliburton Housing Corporation.
FourCAST is a community-based addiction treatment provider operating in Lindsay and Peterborough. The group was working with the permanent supportive housing program support services at 68 Lindsay Street North and a scattered-site model throughout the city.
“What I understand is they are going in a different direction with a different model.” Fourcast Executive Director Donna Rogers told Kawartha 411 News.
Rogers says the City notified them at the end of January that their two-year contract would not be renewed. The contract expires on April 30th.
Rogers explains the scattered-site model is housing people in apartments owned by private landlords such as 11 William Street and Devan Court.
The City hired full-time security for their housing projects after a number of issues arose. Fortify Protection recently pulled out citing safety issues for their employees after a weapon was brandished and there was a shooting at 68 Lindsay St N. Police laid additional weapons charges at the facility after an incident on Monday.
Rogers says much of the criminal activity at 68 Lindsay Street is being perpetrated by guests, not tenants.
“The folks we are housing are street-involved and chronically homeless,” Rogers explains. “So the people they will associate with will be people involved in criminal activity. You have tenants who may or may not be in a position to remove guests. There are a million reasons why someone comes over and you cant get rid of them, they could be drug dealers, could be human trafficking. What kind of support would they need to not be victimized by people who may want to take over their units?”
Rogers says last summer they looked at other models in Ottawa and one actually has a managed alcohol program and safe supply program on-site with a 24/7 Nurse practitioner on site. It’s a 24/7 support model rather than a security model. But she stresses security is also needed.
The City says it is working on a new “collaborative approach” with its supportive housing model.
“The City of Kawartha Lakes and KLH Housing Corp. have been actively working with several community partners to explore and make changes to our supportive housing program units, located at 68 Lindsay Street North and other buildings,” says Michelle Corley, Housing Manager, City of Kawartha Lakes. “The change in security companies is just one of these changes, which happened seamlessly on March 2. We look forward to jointly releasing a media release with our community partners later this spring that will provide an overview of our new collaborative approach with our supportive housing program.”
FourCast will continue at their local community treatment site offering programs and office-based counselling and revert to programs that are funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health.
Rogers says they will also continue their partnership with police and Ross Memorial Hospital.
The City says it will be unveiling its new plan soon.