A plan to end chronic homelessness


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 16/11/2022 (195 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Homelessness is impossible to ignore. We see it in bus shelters and under bridges in Fort Rouge — all throughout Manitoba. We see it when we go downtown for work or a hockey game. And we know it’s not right. There are already many great community organizations — such as the SABE Peace Walkers — who are working hard to address this crisis. But they need a willing partner in government to work with them. That’s why in October, the Manitoba NDP made a pledge to all Manitobans — if we have the opportunity to form government, we will end chronic homelessness in Manitoba within two terms.

Every family deserves a safe place to call home. And every family deserves a safe community. We know that barrier-free housing is the best way to help people get back on their feet, find meaningful jobs and build a good life for their families. It’s a simple solution and an investment that will make our province a safer place.

Homelessness is a complex issue, and there are many other social factors that need to be solved to address the roots of it. But we know it’s possible to end chronic homelessness because it’s been done before. In Houston, Texas, homelessness has been reduced by 63 per cent, and 25,000 people have been moved off the streets and into homes of their own. They did this by co-ordinating across local organizations and stakeholders to rehouse people as quickly as possible in the housing available. And it worked — 75 per cent of the people who were housed were still in those homes a year later.

Winnipeg Free Press file photo

We see homelessness throughout Manitoba. Wab Kinew, leader of the provincial NDP, promises that an NDP government would end chronic homelessness within two terms.

The Winnipeg Free Press wrote about our plan in late October and quoted an organization that is part of the Houston program. They emphasized the importance of partnering with existing groups such as landlords. Before implementing the plan, they said, “no one was talking to each other… building those relationships with landlords is so crucial to house people exiting homelessness.”

The Houston program seems like it offers lessons for us here — namely that an engaged government that brings people together can make a difference. An NDP government will replicate the Houston model, and we will also make additional investments to repair and increase housing stock, invest in addictions and mental health supports, and build up programs such as RentAssist. Within two terms of an NDP government, we will end chronic homelessness in our province.

What do you think about our plan? Contact my office at 204-615-1922 or wab.kinew@yourmanitoba.ca

Wab Kinew

Wab Kinew
Fort Rouge constituency report

Wab Kinew is the NDP MLA for Fort Rouge and leader of the Manitoba New Democratic Party.

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