Conversation 2 – More And

Solving homelessness starts with listening.

That is why Oak Tree7 is looking different this year. Rather than ask the community for stories as we have done in the past, this year we are sharing stories from experts and community members who have knowledge, experience and solutions to share around homelessness.

This video features Derrick Rutherford from Valentini Hair Design and Kristen Cairney from Wyndham House.

About Wyndham House – Wyndham House is a Guelph-based charity that has been working to end youth homelessness since 1973.  Learn more here.

About Valentini Hair Design – Valentini Hair Design is a long respected downtown Guelph business that proudly offers a full selection of professional services for men and women with a commitment to the finest quality environmentally responsible products.  Learn more here.

What we heard from this conversation:

  • The solution is not simple
  • Harm reduction is an important part of helping
  • The more systems work together the more impact they can have
  • Housing and supports need to come at the same time

Our Oak Tree 7 listening has taught us that:

  • Homelessness is unbearable                    
  • Homelessness is a system failure
  • Homelessness is closer than we think
  • Homelessness is solvable

What did you learn? Questions for you to reflect on:

  • How has this video changed your perception of homelessness?
  • If you owned a downtown business like Derrick and were facing similar challenges, where would you go for help?
  • What preconceptions or biases about homelessness did this video challenge?
  • Harm reduction is a complex conversation. How has this conversation opened your eyes to the impact it can have?
  • Derrick made a strong statement when he reflected on the need for a ‘one stop shop’ to support people experiencing homelessness and Kristen rightly labelled it Permanent Supportive Housing.  What would you like to learn about Permanent Supportive Housing?
Responses of 20 youth participants of the G-W 2021 Everyone Counts survey.

Learn More: Stats and information compiled and shared by the County of Wellington from the 2021 Everyone Counts report. See the full youth report here.

Watch Video #4 – Getting Involved