Tbnewswatch Local News
2014-05-20 at 5:08PM

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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