Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Platform 2: Housing

Housing is a huge issue in this city. We cannot let Darth Gregor go on ignoring the homeless situation. Robertson and his team of "Visionaries" (probably from too many shroomz) have continued to mislead the public with it's numbers and fake smiles.

There are two very distinct reasons why I would like to end the homelessness issue in Vancouver.
1. My dad was homeless for 20 years. He drank and used drugs and it was clear to me that the decisions he made were in fact not his decisions, but the physiology of addiction. The last few years of his life, he managed to sober up and find a home in Black Creek on Vancouver Island. He loved to play his guitar on the streets of Campbell River for residents and tourists from the cruise ships. I can still remember how excited he was that some German tourists bought a home made CD and now he was going to get some "international fans". During his visits to the city, he checked in on old friends and if anybody needed a place to stay for the night, he would welcome them to his house, cook dinner and help them get through another night. If anybody wanted to try to kick an addiction, wether drugs or alcohol, his door was ALWAYS open. After 8 years of sobriety and helping his friends off the street, he succumbed quickly to lung cancer. His experiences within the ministry and with addiction weighed heavily on my heart and putting my energy into solving this issue would honor his memory.

2. Housing the homeless in Vancouver would save the City and the Province money. Here is a link to an article in the Tyee that addresses the issue.

The Tyee - Homeless Solutions (From 2007)

I believe that we can house the 1600 people that are homeless. In order to do this we will first need to be compassionate and then we need to financially make a strong commitment to end this problem.

We must commit to a proactive plan rather than a reactive plan. Everybody in this city deserves to have their basic needs met including the homeless. This needs include food, shelter clothing and education. I believe the biggest need in the DTES is compassionate workers who genuinely care about helping people.  I would like to thank the workers that already are in the DTES doing an incredibly demanding job.

I would like to work with the elected council (Tim Louis and Ellen Woodsworth in particular) and service providers in the DTES, to create a plan that focuses on not just housing, but mental health, employability and addiction. These are all branches of the same tree and need to be addressed as one before we can move forward on making the DTES a safe place for everyone.

Thanks for reading and vote for Dubgee on November 19th to make Vancouver a place for everybody to prosper.

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