Health and security top concern for residents
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 21/09/2020 (984 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
I connected for the first time with residents of 515 Elgin Ave., a 100-suite, 55-plus, Manitoba Housing high-rise this past spring during a food donation drive that our office organized with generous church members from Iglesia ni Cristo.
During my visits to the building and in letters that residents wrote to me, I was informed by the older adults who live there that they no longer feel safe in their building.
According to numerous residents, many vulnerable community members, usually women, have been entering the building as a place to seek shelter, use drugs and go to the bathroom in stairwells or in the laundry room. The residents feel for these individuals, as they know there is a need for more community shelter and addictions support from our government. But they are concerned because of incidents of harassment and theft, as well as illegal drug sales.
On Aug. 18, I met with the building’s tenants’ association committee to listen to residents’ concerns and also to do some brainstorming about ideas and solutions they might have regarding their home and community.
Recommendations from the tenants included:
- Installation of lighting, more security cameras, securing all entrances;
- 24-hour on-site security manning the front entrance;
- Security collaboration with community-based groups such as FN Warriors and Bear Clan; and
- Opening up a 24-hour safe space for homeless women in our community.
On Sept. 10, armed with these recommendations from the tenants’ association, I secured a meeting with Joseph Bradbury, newly appointed CEO of Manitoba Housing, and his colleagues.
Manitoba Housing personnel were open to the tenants’ recommendations and Mr. Bradbury assured us that security upgrades including the installation of 50 more security cameras will be forthcoming within a year’s time.
I was really moved by the tenants at 515 Elgin because, even though they have been dealing with difficult circumstances, they acknowledge that those who are participating in these behaviours are their neighbours and deserve proper housing and treatment themselves.
I will continue to press the provincial government for more “housing first” initiatives for community members experiencing substance abuse and homelessness, for more 24-hour spaces for women, and a stronger framework for health and food security in the community of Notre Dame.
Please reach out to me at email@example.com or at 204-788-0800 with any constituency related questions or concerns.
Notre Dame constituency report
Malaya Marcelino is the NDP MLA for Notre Dame.