First homeless woman gets apartment after sharing story in CTV News interview
Linda Robinson feels “grateful and blessed” after receiving support from the Windsor-Essex community following her recent interview with CTV News Windsor.
In August 2022, Robinson told CTV News about his experience of homelessness. At that time, she was living out of her car after falling behind in paying rent. She told that she only has $100 at the end of the month to spend on groceries.
“When I saw Linda, I knew what many of our clients were going through. I immediately felt for her and wanted to reach out,” says Marissa Mills, director of Street Angels.
After Robinson’s story aired, many community groups and individuals expressed their interest in helping him.
A GoFundMe page has since raised more than $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,” Robinson says. “I want to thank everyone for realizing that I don’t want to be in that situation.”
With the help of the community, Robinson finds an apartment that’s affordable for her budget and receives donated furniture and food.
With renewed hope, she is encouraging those who are experiencing homelessness to step up to help.
“I’m trying to convince people, you’re not too old. There is help out there, just be brave and humble enough to take it,” Robinson says.
Although Robinson’s living conditions have greatly improved in a short period of time, not many people in the area are as fortunate.
According to Kirk Whittle, executive director of Housing and Children Services, there are 6,300 applicants on the waiting list for subsidized housing with the City of Windsor.
“The biggest challenge in terms of timeline is the type of unit you might need. In this area, there are one-bedroom units that are in short supply,” Whittle says.
To reduce your wait time for subsidized housing, Whittle suggests making a flexible application, such as being open to living in different neighborhoods or different types of properties.
He says victims of domestic violence and human trafficking receive top priority after those experiencing homelessness.
In the meantime, there are programs in place to help people who are at risk of homelessness.
The city’s Housing Sustainability Scheme (HSP) provides funds to eligible applicants to pay rent arrears to avoid eviction or to pay rent for the first or previous month to secure affordable housing.
Keep the Heat is an emergency assistance program that provides funding for heat and energy for people who are experiencing financial difficulties and receiving notices of heating utilities’ terminations.
“The number one hurdle is that people don’t know these programs exist and don’t know how to access them,” Mills says.
For more information about the HSP program and its eligibility requirements, you can visit the City of Windsor website.