In Fall 2020, Drumheller will take part in the second collective effort to measure housing instability and service needs across rural Alberta.
The Town of Drumheller's participation is funded in part through the Government of Canada's Reaching Home program, administered through the Alberta Rural Development Network.
"Along with 26 other rural Alberta communities, Drumheller will be collecting resident feedback over October 1 to October 31, 2020." April Harrison, FCSS Coordinator, explains. "The survey will be administered by local service providers including Drumheller Valley FCSS, Drumheller Salvation Army, the Family Resource Network, MH Enterprise, and local schools, AHS, Turning Point, Riverside Medical and Wheatland Crisis Society. The survey will be available digitally/online or through paper surveys."
Drumheller's participation follows a pioneer project that covered 20 communities throughout rural Alberta in 2018. The project surveyed 1,771 individuals on location at 185 service providers across 20 communities with a total population of 291,531 (StatsCan 2016).
1,098 of those surveyed declared that they did not have stable housing and/or they were at-risk of losing their housing. Respondents from the 2018 project identified "low income", "[inability] to pay rent/mortgage", "inadequate housing", and "job loss" as top reasons for why their housing situation was unstable.
These inequities could have compounded with the COVID-19 pandemic—which has caused evictions and job losses—and the project aims to collect much-needed data on its extent. With resident feedback, the survey will help identify the type and the number of homes currently needed in each community; and the kind of services and resources needed by residents. Data collected from the project will help the town and local service providers better understand and address identified gaps within the community.
To learn more about the project and ways to participate, please contact April Harrison at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rural Homelessness Estimation Project - 2018 Provincial Report: https://www.ardn.ca/publications/2018-rural-homelessness-estimation-project-rhep
Rural Homelessness Estimation Project - individual community summaries: https://www.ardn.ca/publications/2018-rural-homelessness-estimation-project-rhep
Link to the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DYDGKYG