Huron Heart to Home | Preventing and Addressing Homelessness in Huron County

People experiencing homelessness and those at high risk of becoming homeless are individual people, each with unique experiences and challenges that require an individualized response. Responding to homelessness is not just about providing housing, it requires relationship and trust building and often means addressing complex issues including past traumas, mental illness or substance use.

For these reasons, addressing homelessness requires an integrated system of support and care strategies that are provided by multiple organizations and agencies working together using a Housing First strategy, the primary goal of Huron Heart to Home.

Huron Heart to Home is comprised of County of Huron staff who work with many community partners to prevent and address homelessness in Huron County. These staff connect people to community, local organizations, and resources that can help a person access long-term housing.


Huron County is a Built for Zero Community

Huron County is Built for Zero Community that has achieved a Quality By-Name List from the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

Be Part of the Solution

By-Name List

Myth Busters


Housing Services

Be Part of the Solution

What is Homelessness?

The Canadian Definition of homelessness is: The situation of an individual, family, or community without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect means and ability of acquiring it.

An individual may be homeless if they are:

  • Unsheltered. Living on the streets or in places not intended for people to live in.
  • Emergency Sheltered. Staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless. This includes shelters for those affected by family violence.
  • Provisionally Accommodated (Couch Surfing). This refers to those whose accommodation is temporary or borrowed.
What we're doing to Be Part of the Solution

The Stability Team

The Stability Team are specially trained staff who work directly with people in crisis. These caring professionals help connect people who are homeless, or who are at risk of becoming homeless, with the various services and supports they require such as a safe place to sleep, food, hygiene products, warm clothing, healthcare services, and more.

Emergency Shelter and Transitional Housing

The County of Huron partners with multiple organizations to fund and/or deliver emergency shelter and transitional housing.


The Enumeration Project is a week long event, that takes place every two years, where people in Huron County who are experiencing homelessness can add their names to a list to be identified and counted.

By-Name List

A By-Name List is a list that provides real-time data on those experiencing homelessness in the community at any given time.

Through this data collection process, staff become more aware of who and how many people in our community need supportive services. The process enables homelessness to be tracked to see if it is growing or shrinking over time.

Coordinated Action System

Utilizing the data collected from the Enumeration Project and By-Name List, County of Huron staff lead a Huron County Homelessness Coordinated Access System. This system ensures that local organizations can better work together to effectively address the specific needs of those experiencing homelessness within the community.


There are many myths and falsehoods about homelessness. The County of Huron’s Communication Team makes sure that people in Huron County have access to facts, data, and learning resources that help people understand the difference between what’s true and what’s not.

Prevention Programs

The County of Huron runs many programs that are designed to stop people from becoming homeless. Some of these programs include owning and operating 415 rent-geared-to-income apartment units, as well as a variety of programs for both landlords and tenants.

Financial Support

Sometimes the best way to stop a person from becoming homeless is to support them with funds that help them pay for the things they need so that they can continue to afford to live in their current home. The County of Huron works with other levels of government to deliver financial aid programs, such as Housing Allowances, Ontario Works, and the Canada Ontario Housing Benefit.

Housing Developments

We’re building more affordable housing. The County of Huron is increasing its affordable housing inventory through the development of new apartment buildings. In addition to the 415 units currently available, 65 new units are currently in various stages of development and will be soon be available for tenancy.

Future Planning

The County of Huron’s Planning department is addressing the community’s need for more affordable housing by promoting and permitting more dense housing developments. For example, Additional Residential Units are permitted to be added to existing residential properties; this helps to create units which are more affordable.

How you can help to Be Part of the Solution

Become informed and don’t spread false information.

There are many myths and falsehoods around the topic of homelessness and how people can become homeless. Learning more about homelessness and housing instability can help increase understanding. Explore the resources found at the end of this page for more information.

Speak up! Advocate for those experiencing homelessness, hurt and hunger in your community.

Sadly, people facing homelessness are often subject to various forms of discrimination. Poverty, physical and mental health, and substance use concerns are not reasons to deny a person’s fundamental right to housing without discrimination as protected under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.

If you hear inflammatory language or witness discriminatory actions, speak up! Advocate for those in the community who may be more vulnerable. If you’re unsure if a statement is valid or discriminatory, try taking the cringe test, found on

Welcome Supportive and Affordable Housing in your community.

To Be Part of the Solution it is essential to welcome affordable housing developments in your own neighbourhood. It takes an entire community, including multiple levels of government, many stakeholders, neighbourhoods, and the public to create a welcoming atmosphere for housing that improves life for everyone in our community.

Consider donating locally.

Consider donating to a local agency that’s meaningful to you and supports our community’s most vulnerable citizens, such as emergency shelters, food banks, clothing drop offs, and more.

Participate in local events that support vulnerable people.

Events like The Coldest Night of the Year are a great way to get involved. The Coldest Night of the Year is a fun, family-friendly fundraising walk that supports local non profit partners who provide essential care and service for people experiencing homelessness, hurt, and hunger. Learn more:

Homelessness Prevention Programs

The County of Huron manages and/or financially aids many homelessness prevention initiatives in Huron County. Some of these programs include:

Addiction Supportive Housing (ASH)

ASH is a transitional housing program for eight individuals working directly with Choices for Change (Alcohol, Drug and Gambling Counseling Centre).

Pathways to Self-Sufficiency

Pathways to Self-Sufficiency provides rental and utility arrears funding to low-income households experiencing potential eviction and/or utility disconnection.

Safe Homes for Youth

Funding was provided to Safe Homes for Youth to assist in the supports and shelter for youth facing homelessness.

Yes I Can

Yes I Can is a youth homelessness prevention program offering employment and education supports.

Housing Allowances

This long-term support provides $250 each month directly to low-income households to help with rental and/or utility costs.

Rent Supplement

A monthly fee paid directly to landlords who enter into a formal agreement with the County.

By-Name List

What is the By-Name List?

A By-Name List is a centralized list of all the people experiencing homelessness in a community.

Huron’s By-Name List is managed by County of Huron Social and Property Service staff and is regularly maintained by many community organizations.  It provides real-time data on those experiencing homelessness in the community at any given time.

Through this data collection process, staff become more aware of who and how many people in our community need supportive services. The process enables homelessness to be tracked to see if it is growing or shrinking over time.

How a By-Name List Helps Communities End Homelessness

Huron County is Built for Zero Community that has achieved a Quality By-Name List from the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.

Why do we need a By-Name List?

The information on the By-Name List helps social service staff triage services. By using the information on the list, the right services can be offered to the people who need it most, first.

Who can be added to the By-Name List?

Anyone can refer themselves to the By-Name List.

What happens when I am added to the By-Name List?

When you are added to the By-Name List, you may be asked to disclose personal information, such as:

  • Your current location;
  • Age and gender;
  • Family status (single, married, with children etc);
  • Any health concerns, including addiction or mental health;
  • If you currently have access to temporary shelter;
  • For how long, or how often you have experienced homelessness;
  • And more.

All information on the By-Name List is completely confidential.

How can I be added to the By-Name List?

To be added to the By-Name List, call 519.XXX.XXXX, or call or visit any of the locations listed below:

Huron County Hospitals

Alexandra Marine General Hospital
120 Napier Street, Goderich, ON | 519.524.8323

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance
98 Shipley Street, Clinton, ON | 519.482.3440

Listowel Wingham Hospital Alliance
270 Carling Terrace, Wingham, ON | 519.357.3210

Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance
24 Centennial Drive, Seaforth, ON | 519.527.1650

South Huron Hospital Association
24 Huron Street West, Exeter, ON | 519.235.2700

Centre for Employment & Learning

CFEL Goderich
41 West Street, Goderich, ON | 519.524.2515

CFEL Clinton
60 Mary Street, Clinton ON | 519.482.1700CFEL Wingham
152 Josephine Street, Wingham ON | 519.357.4995

CFEL Seaforth
9 Goderich Street W., Seaforth, ON | 519.527.2288

CFEL Exeter
349 Main Street, Exeter ON | 519.235.0471

Huron Safe Homes for Youth

149B Thames Road W., Exeter ON | 519.235.0335

Huron Turning Point Residence

282 Main Street S., Exeter ON | 519.280.6477

CMHA | Huron Perth

149B Thames Road W., Exeter ON | 519.235.0335

CMHA | Thames Valley

29 Kingston Street, Goderich ON | 519.271.6819

Huron Connection Centres

HCC Exeter
670 Main Street S., Exeter ON | 519.235.2991

HCC Wingham
23 John Street, Wingham ON | 519.271.6730 x245

The Salvation Army

SA Goderich
303 Suncoast Drive E., Goderich ON | 519.524.2950

SA Clinton
32 Albert Street, Clinton ON | 519.482.8586

SA Wingham
205 Jospehine Street N., Wingham ON | 519.357.1387

Any Huron County Library Branch

Alice Munro Public Library
281 Edward Street, Wingham, ON | 519.357.3312

18 Main Street, Bayfield, ON | 519.565.2886

392 Queen Street, Blyth, ON | 519.523.4400

402 Turnberry Street, Brussels, ON | 519.887.6448

27 Albert Street, Clinton, ON | 519.482.3673

330 Main Street, South, Exeter, ON | 519.235.1890

52 Montreal Street, Goderich, ON | 519.524.9261

108 King Street, Hensall, ON | 519.262.2445

45088 Harriston Road, Gorrie, ON | 519.335.6899

c/o Kirkton-Woodham Community Centre
70497 Perth Road 164, RR 1 Kirkton, ON | 519.229.8854

108 Main Street South, Seaforth, ON | 519.527.1430

10 Goshen Street N Zurich, ON | 519.236.4965

Myth Busters

There is a great deal of stigma and misinformation surrounding issues of homelessness. You can Be Part of the Solution by becoming informed and not perpetuating false claims.

Myth: People choose to be homeless

Fact: A variety of different factors can contribute to an individual’s experience of homelessness. Often, people experience homelessness when all other options have been exhausted, and/or they are dealing with circumstances that make it difficult to maintain housing.

Myth: People experiencing homelessness are lazy

Fact: In order to survive, many people who experience homelessness are constantly in search for the necessities of life, such as food, shelter and a source of income. Therefore, due to the barriers that they face, many people experiencing homelessness do not have the option of being stagnant or lazy.

Myth: All people who experience homelessness are addicts

Fact: Many people who experience homelessness do not struggle with substance abuse problems. Just like in the general population, only a percentage of those who are experiencing homelessness deal with substance use. People experiencing homelessness may deal with other complexities related to their experiences of homelessness, including trauma and mental illness, for example.

Myth: People experiencing homelssness should just find a job

Fact: There are already people experiencing homelessness who are employed; however, it is much more difficult to find a job while experiencing homelessness. A number of different challenges, such as: lacking a permanent address, not having regular access to showers, barriers to transportation, and other difficulties like mental illness, make it difficult to obtain employment. Even when individuals experiencing homelessness find jobs, they are often part-time or minimum wage positions. This work fails to adequately meet their needs, due to expensive housing costs.

Myth: There are many services and supports to help those experiencing homelessness

Fact: Many of the solutions and supports for homelessness have focused on emergency services, such as shelters and food banks. For individuals who are trying to escape a cycle of poverty and homelessness, emergency services alone are not adequate. There is a need to focus on the larger systemic factors, including the lack of affordable housing and the criminalization of homelessness that prevent people from obtaining permanent and suitable shelter.


Community Partners
Take the Cringe Test

Cringe Test

Learn more about the topic of homelessness

The Corporation of the County of Huron is dedicated to enhancing the social and economic well-being of Huron County through the creation and preservation of affordable housing.

The County supports an individual’s fundamental right to housing without discrimination as protected under Ontario’s Human Rights Code.