Can $11 billion end homelessness in Canada? – Thompson Citizen

April 21, 2017

In North American cities like New York, San Francisco, Vancouver, Toronto and countless others, we have grown accustomed to seeing people who are homeless walk among us, often in the shadows, often with visible signs of duress from addiction, mental illness or basic hopelessness. Simply put, we’ve become desensitized to the everyday experiences of persons visibly homeless in our cities and communities.

There is also little difference in cities in Europe or Australia that share North America’s inability to address chronic homelessness through policy, programs or funding that offer long-term solutions to improve well-being and improve housing stability.

But change is possible.

Budget 2017 earmarked a whopping $11 billion for housing and homelessness across the country. There’s no doubt, this will have a big impact. However, these funds must not only build affordable housing, they must align with poverty reduction strategies and mental health and recovery initiatives currently underway if we are to truly reduce long-term homelessness.

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