STRAIT-RICHMOND: Last Thursday at the Richmond County Literacy Network office in St. Peter’s, a group of summer students met with members of the Seniors Take Action Coalition’s Housing Committee to work toward garnering important information from the public.
“There are seven organizations throughout the Strait-Richmond area participating,” said Claire Doyle, the chairperson of the housing committee.
“They are not-for-profit organizations and have summer students committed to help with our survey throughout the summer. We’re grateful to have them help us complete our survey.
“We did a review of the 13 questions that will be on the survey,” said Doyle, explaining last Thursday’s meeting. “Our young people will be making telephone calls, and we’d like the public to be aware of that and maybe give us a few minutes.”
The phone survey is expected to start by the middle of July. The not-for-profit organization that spared the manpower are the Stella Maris Pastoral Unit – Isle Madame, the Dr. Kingston Memorial Community Health Centre, Development Isle Madame, the L’Ardoise Jolly Club, the Point Tupper Heritage Trust, Richmond County Literacy, and the Center La Picasse.
There are somewhere in the ballpark of 4,000 seniors in the Strait-Richmond area, and the housing committee members are looking to get at least 10 percent of them to take the survey.
A number of seniors have already taken the survey, as the housing committee passed the document around at local seniors’ clubs. The main goal is to find out about the specific needs seniors have when it comes to housing.
Having youth help out by manning the phones this summer should give the group a great boost, Doyle said.
“We weren’t really sure if we had affordable housing out there, at least enough to meet the needs of our senior population,” she added. “What is the type of housing we have out there? What are the needs of our seniors, presently and into the future? We know the census indicates we have a large senior population in Strait-Richmond area.
“The first step is to identify what kind of housing needs our seniors have, now and into the future,” she said.
Having such information on hand would be helpful for developers as well, Doyle noted. It’s also in the plans to share the findings of the survey with the communities involved so there can be an open conversation about the future.
The chairperson added she and the housing committee want to make sure seniors know what sort of governmental programs are out there, in terms of improving people’s homes.