We need social housing and welfare rates enough to cover basic rent in the city. There are 2,223 homeless people in Vancouver, up only 2.2% but there are more seniors, women and those who had housing now in the homeless count. It takes political will and all levels of government to address the problem. Read more in the just released The Vancouver Homeless Count 2019
In 2015, Medicine Hat declared it had ended chronic homelessness. The program continues to be successful. "Our definition of ending homelessness never did include the idea that it would never exist again, and that people would never fall back into that state of homelessness," said Jaime Rogers, the manager of homeless and housing at the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society. "We still need emergency shelters and we absolutely have people in our community that still experience homelessness. However, anyone who experiences being homeless is for a period that is "brief and short-lived," she said.
The Mayor of Medicine Hat calls on provinces and Ottawa to provide the funding, but then to allow municipalities to implement strategies that makes the most sense wherever they're at. He says that their homeless strategy is saving taxpayers money in terms of declining costs of crime, health care and child welfare services.
Housing is for community not developers. On November 30, a rally was held at what was the Little Mountain Housing site. Ten years ago the residents were removed and the buildings demolished on what was Vancouver’s first social housing site (built in 1954). The 15 acre site continues to be vacant. A rally spokesperson says, “It was a successful social housing community. Many, many thousands of people grew up and lived their lives there. The buildings could have been renovated.” The spokesperson adds, “It’s clear that the redevelopment of Little Mountain has been a failure. We are calling on the government to #Take Back the Mountain,’ to take the Little Mountain site into public hands and to build the kind of housing that people need and deserve in Vancouver.”
Read the Vancouver Homeless Count 2019 Report
Learn more about the Homeless Action Strategy in Alberta