“Don’t try to drive the homeless into places we find suitable. Help them survive in places they find suitable.” Daniel Quin
Housing is a Human Right often overlooked by governments, in a public statement the Liberal government declared Canadians do not have a right to housing indicating that politicians do not categorize housing as an important societal issue. That doesn’t mean the homeless have gone away or been forgotten, the people of our community, who work every day to get them sheltered do so from a place of compassion, not political gain and they need the assistance of the community.
A recent survey of the top 40 social issues ranked homelessness at 17th of importance yet it would seem it should be ranked much higher when considering the multitude of social issues connected to homelessness. The government “quick fix” strategies have been highly ineffective and costly to taxpayers, causing an unfounded resentment to the homeless themselves for failed government social programs. Our politicians will have us believe that social housing is a complicated problem yet it is only political social ignorance and interference that obstruct solutions. The chart below identifies the 2013 homeless population in various cities across the nation. In the time our current mayor and city councillors have been elected the homeless population in Kelowna has risen by nearly 100% and considering many Canadians, post pandemic are just one payday away from being homeless themselves, we need to take immediate action or we will face a new and more devastating outcome.
The Sprit Alliance recognizes “social issues are directly linked to this growing challenge” and with the support of our community we will immediately begin to implement the effective strategies and solutions of countries that have virtually eliminated homelessness.