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Shocking figures reveal the extent of London's homelessness crisis - and the inroads being made by the City of London's “Informed Response” program.

In March, city council extended the innovative program with $1.25 million in funding.

Focusing on collaboration and compassion, frontline workers with London Cares, city hall, police and other agencies guide people off city streets and clean up encampment sites.

City hall’s manager of Homeless Prevention, Craig Cooper explains that Informed Response is different.

“We do a compassionate approach first where London Cares goes in, talks with the individual, sees if there are supports we can do. That's why you see so many interactions with those referrals."

A new report going to city hall’s Community and Protective Services Committee next week details the results so far.

Informed Response Program Results (April 15 – Aug. 15, 2019)

  • responded to 3,567 incidents of urban camping
  • removed 443 urban camps
  • recovered 9,033 syringes
  • collected 1,022 bins of garbage

Cooper adds there is momentum finding people permanent housing, “In the last month we've added another 20 people housed so we are over 40 people housed through that system.

"We are getting some of the head leases up and running, we increased our rent supplement, so there seems to be some more uptake on housing individuals.”

Long-term funding for Informed Response will be the subject of multi-year budget deliberations at city hall in February.