Case workers for the homeless are becoming frustrated with the lack of affordable housing in northeastern Ontario.
Organizations from around the region are meeting in North Bay this week and housing is on the agenda.
There will be plenty to talk about, according to the director of Sudbury’s Salvation Army men's shelter, Rene Trudeau. He said many of his clients are forced to leave their homes because of alcohol and drug abuse and it’s hard to find inexpensive housing that won't put people back in the same situation.
"Finding a place where it’s safe for them, where their neighbours aren't smoking a pipe and using daily [and] where they're not exposed to that," Trudeau said. "[Finding a place is] great … but is it really safe?"
Bob Barraclough, who works with the homeless in North Bay, said cheap apartments are rare in cities with lots of students.
"Our university and college are on a growth path," he said. "And they are building more residences — but it doesn't keep up with the demand."
Barraclough said there is provincial and federal funding available to help people find homes in the short-term, but he said he hopes the meeting will provide a long-term strategy.
"Unlike the south, we don't have a lot of development going on," Barraclough added. "So, whatever is there is kind of the stock that we have to work with."