Stronger Together summit prompts community collaboration. Sarnia, ON - On Tuesday, March 21, community partners from across Lambton County gathered at Lambton College to discuss the current state of housing, homelessness, and addictions locally and collaborate on making a lasting change in these areas. The Stronger Together: Collaborating for a Vibrant Community summit brought together over 170 individuals from various organizations related to housing, homelessness, and addictions.
“I am thrilled with the turnout for this event,” said Lambton County Warden Kevin Marriott. “The discussions had today were important, but even more significant than that, they were productive. Being able to bring this group into the same space to share ideas and learn from each other’s experiences and perspectives has been so valuable.” Participants heard presentations from representatives of the County of Lambton’s Social Services and Public Health Services divisions, the Canadian Mental Health Association Lambton-Kent, the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, and from a local individual with lived experience who was willing to share her story. Indigenous partners shared reflections and cultural knowledge and offered songs throughout the day. “Many community partners came together today to participate and engage in important conversations,” said Andrew Taylor, General Manager Public Health Services Division.
“This Summit is about supporting local community interests, and today we heard about the many factors that influence people’s health outcomes. Today affirmed our shared values, promoting equity and removing barriers to ensure everyone can achieve their full health potential. I am confident about the path forward.” The afternoon was filled with collaborative discussion through breakout groups. Focusing on questions surrounding current strengths, resources, gaps, and opportunities within housing, homelessness, and addictions, the groups also discussed the community’s top priorities as we move forward and how we can collectively and individually progress on these priorities within the next year. The outcomes and ideas from today’s event will be reviewed by staff from the County’s Social Services and Public Health Services divisions and will be shared publicly in the future.
“Lack of safe, affordable housing and increasing numbers of individuals and families experiencing homelessness are challenging problems that will take innovative solutions to solve,” said Valerie Colasanti, General Manager of the Social Services Division. “Today was the start of many productive conversations and collaborative initiatives that need to be held moving forward to create those solutions.” “I would like to thank everyone who attended, contributed to the conversation, and made today’s event a success,” continued Marriott. “The information and ideas collected today will help guide program and service decisions into the future for all community partners.”
To learn more about the Stronger Together: Collaborating for a Vibrant Community summit and to see copies of the presentations and other resources from the event, please visit www.lambtononline.ca/summit. Please contact: Valerie Colasanti General Manager, Social Services Division County of Lambton 519-344-2062 ext. 2010 Andrew Taylor General Manager, Public Health Services Division County of Lambton 519-383-8331 ext. 5414