Tbnewswatch Local News
Wednesday July 1 2015
8:55 PM EDT
2014-05-20 at 17:08

Town hall meetings to focus on homelessness issues

Thunder Bay Drug Strategy coordinator Cynthia Olsen.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
Thunder Bay Drug Strategy coordinator Cynthia Olsen.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY - A local coalition wants to make sure the city's homeless aren't forgotten.

Starting next week the Thunder Bay Housing and Homelessness Coalition will host town hall meetings addressing issues marginalized populations are facing. Thunder Bay Drug Strategy co-ordinator and coalition co-chair Cynthia Olsen said those issues affect everyone.

The most effective way to address the issue is to create affordable housing in the city.

"If we provide housing for folks we can better increase people's health we can increase our public health and we can increase community safety and overall well being," Olsen said.

There is a chronic shortage of affordable housing in the city. That crunch is felt by people in poverty most of all.

"Those that are really in need of housing really struggle to get access to safe affordable adequate housing," Olsen said.

Studies show that putting housing first and providing support for people reduces health problems and community safety issues. While housing is on the radar for municipal and provincial politicians, not enough is being done.

"Certainly we're not seeing enough movement," Olsen said.

"We' know that they're saving dollars when you provide housing to people."

Olsen is hoping that politicians and the public attend the meetings to get informed. The first meeting is May 28 at the Finlandia. It starts at 7 p.m.



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caesarjbasquitti says:
Decades ago a group wanted to donate space to the homeless in their own homes.

Search was on to find the homeless. All they were able to find were 9 homeless about 1980.

Sometimes the more spend on programs to deal with the homeless the more of a problem you can create IF YOU DO NOT ADDRESS THE KEY PROBLEM.

Homelessness, is merely a symptom.

Many of these people are suffering from mental illness or drug addictions; tragic.

Second problem, some landlords will rent to these people, my mother did to one decades ago.

Problem is that if the person gets sicker, unable to care for him or herself, remember these are high risk people with issues, or diseases, you can create problems.

Well my mother had to have the poor gentlemen evicted after his behavior was very difficult for other tenants.

The individual got free legal aid who seemed parasitic...5 lawyers showed up. Four months to get this health risk out.

Man needed health care, not free lawyers.

The suite was left empty.
5/23/2014 11:13:58 PM
nvjgu says:
What would be an example of affordable housing. Housing cost what housing costs, it's not like you hydro bill etc. is cheaper because of your income and no I'm not interested in paying for someone else to have a roof over there head unless of course it's no fault of there own.
5/22/2014 7:41:02 AM
myopinion123 says:
"Certainly we're not seeing enough movement," Olsen said. I agree 100%. What's been done to date to address unaffordable rents, discrimination by landlords, lack of knowledge of landlord and tenant rights, locally developed policies and procedures that inhibit access to social housing?
5/21/2014 9:52:53 AM
Kam River says:
Why is a city department organizing and funding a program to lobby city council using our tax money. "Thunder Bay Drug Strategy co-ordinator of one of the leaders of the Group.
The program is a good idea, but to you tax dollars and city staff to lobby council is not.

5/20/2014 6:31:52 PM
bkr9812 says:
Let's create more affordable housing in the city, sure. Just...NIMBY :)
5/20/2014 6:25:38 PM
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