Conversation 4 – Finding Solutions

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 community members Margo, Joe and Gail Hoekstra from Stepping Stone.

About Stepping Stone – Stepping Stone helps individuals and families experiencing homelessness step forward on a path toward securing permanent housing in Guelph-Wellington through housing focused programs and individualized support. Learn more here.

What we heard from this conversation:

  • Homelessness is complex and the Guelph/Wellington community has been working on this issue more many years.
  • Everyone’s journey into and out of homelessness is different
  • Many people in our community don’t know how many resources already exist to help people find good housing
  • Individual health and wellness starts with having a safe place to call home

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

  • We were humbled by hearing Joe and Margo’s voice about how homelessness impacted their lives. How has homelessness impacted your life?
  • Gail challenged us with the line: “We need people to really do the heaving lifting.” How can you be part of that heavy lifting in changing our community’s perceptions around homelessness? What tools do you need to help?
  • Joe’s line of “It’s good to know someone has your back” was powerful. What does that mean to you? How might that be different or the same for someone who is living without a home?
  • Margo made a strong observation about community members judging others without knowing them. How can we invite people in our community to learn more about people who are living without a home?
Health Challenges

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.