Windsor, Ont. woman no longer homeless after outpouring of community support following CTV News interview
Lynda Robinson feels “grateful and blessed” after receiving an outpouring of support from the Windsor-Essex community following her recent interview with CTV News Windsor.
In August 2022, Robinson opened up to CTV News about her experience with homelessness. At the time, she was living out of her car after falling behind on rent payments. She described only have $100 at the end of the month to spend on groceries.
“When I saw Linda, I recognized what so many of our clients are going through. I immediately felt for her and wanted to reach out,” says Street Angels Director, Merissa Mills.
Following the airing of Robinson’s story, many community groups and individuals expressed their interest in helping her.
A GoFundMe page has since raised over $5,000 to help get Robinson off the streets.
“The GoFundMe page gave us our first and last month’s rent. We’re going to make it through the winter,” says Robinson. “I want to thank everybody for realizing that I didn’t want to be in that situation.”
With the help of the community, Robinson has been able to find an apartment that is affordable for her budget and received donated furniture and food.
With renewed hope, she is encouraging others who are experiencing homelessness to reach out for help.
“I’m trying to explain to people, you’re not too old. There’s help out there, just be brave enough and humble enough to take it,” says Robinson.
Although Robinson’s living situation has greatly improved in a short period of time, many people in the region are not as fortunate.
There are 6,300 applicants on the waiting list for subsidized housing with the City of Windsor, according to Kirk Whittal, executive director of Housing and Children’s Services.
“The biggest challenge in terms of timeline is the type of unit you may require. In the region, one-bedroom units are the ones that are in short supply,” says Whittal.
To reduce your wait time for subsidized housing, Whittal suggests having a flexible application, such as being open to living in various neighborhoods or different types of properties.
He says victims of domestic violence and human trafficking receive the highest priority, following by those experiencing homelessness.
In the meantime, there are programs to help people who are at risk of homelessness.
The city’s Housing Stability Plan (HSP) provides qualified applicants with funds to pay rental arrears in order to avoid eviction or to pay for first or last month’s rent in order to secure affordable housing.
Keep the Heat is an emergency assistance program that provides funding for heat and energy for those who are experiencing financial difficulties and are in receipt of a notice of termination of heating utilities.
“The number one barrier is people not knowing that these programs exist and not knowing exactly how to access them,” says Mills.
For more information on the HSP program and its eligibility requirements, you can visit the City of Windsor website.