Ending Homelessness

Posted: January 1, 2016 in homeless, homelessness, shelters, Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wow a new year already. This past year in our shelter we have had some hard, stressful and fun times.

Ending homelessness is a big topic in the global scope, but is it really possible? We can never fully end homelessness, but we sure can alleviate it. There has been some amazing news circulating about different cities in Canada and the US that have ended homelessness. In Canada at least they are talking about ending Chronic and Episodic homelessness. Meaning people who have stayed in a shelter, or precariously housed elsewhere ( on the street, couch surfing, bad rooming houses, for so many nights/episodes within month(s) and a year time frame. Canada really needs to change our terminology in how we describe these two groups.

Both shelters in Moncton, NB try to keep the stay of our guests to a very short time frame, but at our shelter we always work with the individual to help them for as long as it takes. We never give up! The reason I say this is because in 2014 by the Government of Canada’s definition Moncton only had 1 of these individuals. 1 person! So by our Governments definition if Moncton housed this 1 person (which our shelter did) we would end homelessness, but there were 694 people who used a shelter in 2014. Can you do the math If we housed that 1 person the government is forgetting about the other 693 people who needed housing in 2014, but they could say that Moncton, NB ended homelessness. The stats are not in for 2015 yet, obviously because it only ended yesterday, but I am sure that the results will not be much different.

I love the country I live in, I am someone who almost tears up every time the national anthem is played because of the prayer that is inside it. However Canada really needs to step up their game. We can do more, but we need you! Yes the person reading this post. Get involved in your community.

This past year we had a wonderful guy needing to use our shelter. He worked full time at a local hotel, had a wife and children, but his marriage fell apart. He didn’t know where to go, so he started sleeping in his car, in the parking lot of the hotel he worked. I do not recall how his manager found out, but they told him to come to our shelter. He started staying with us, and was unable to find a place because all of his money went to paying for the house that his family was living in, and the same house he was not allowed to live in. I have tremendous respect for this man. Unfortunately I do not know the end of his story, because he just vanished from our shelter one day.

The reason I tell this story, is that if his manager wasn’t educated on some services in the city, he would have continued to sleep in his car. Get involved either by volunteering, supporting, or becoming knowledgeable in your city of the services offered.

What do I want to happen because of this post? I do not expect that Justin Trudeau will read this post, and decide to change anything,that would be cool though, but I hope that as you read this  you will get involved in the issue and help in your own way.

You could just save a life.

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