Together we can end chronic homelessness
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This article was published 09/11/2022 (205 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
More than 1,200 people are currently homeless in Winnipeg. Studies show that this number grew during the pandemic, as people struggled with isolation and lost their jobs. The increasing number of homeless people has become more visible as well, as more people are sleeping in bus shelters and living in tents.
While the homeless population is diverse, certain demographics are overrepresented. Studies have found that Indigenous peoples make up upwards of two-thirds of the homeless population, which is largely attributed to factors such as the challenge of rural to urban migration, inadequate and unaffordable housing, and intergenerational trauma linked to residential schools, the ’60s Scoop and more. As well, Manitobans struggling with mental health issues and addictions are greatly overrepresented.
Thousands more Manitobans are at risk of homelessness due to many factors, particularly lack of access to affordable housing. Instead of working to alleviate Manitoba’s housing problems, the Progressive Conservative government has made things worse by selling off social housing units and cutting maintenance spending. Now with cost of living on the rise, the need for affordable housing has become even more urgent.
It’s clear that action is needed to end homelessness in Manitoba. That’s why the Manitoba NDP has pledged to end chronic homelessness in Manitoba within eight years by adapting the proven City of Houston model. Over a period of 10 years, Houston was able to reduce homelessness by 63 per cent and move 25,000 people off of the street. The city partnered with local organizations to house members of the community who lived in homeless encampments and provide them with wraparound supports. We believe that we can adapt this model to Manitoba in order to end homelessness and ensure everyone has a safe, affordable place to live.
By adapting this model, the Manitoba NDP intends to increase the number of social housing units and make repairs to existing units. In addition, the Manitoba NDP will make investments in mental health supports to facilitate the rehousing and establishment of these vulnerable members of our community in their new homes.
If you would like to contact me to talk about homelessness, the Houston Model or anything else of concern, please email my office at email@example.com or call me at 204-415-7621.
Burrows constituency report
Diljeet Brar is the NDP MLA for Burrows.