Victoria Mayor's Task Force

2007.12.01 - 11:57 PM

After 18 months of research by the 'Mayor's Task Force on Breaking the Cycle of Mental Illness, Addiction and Homelessness' another textbook was released. This 240 page document was officially printed on October 19, 2007 but it was unveiled to the public on November 26 at a church with no media present. The people presenting the document included one of the members of the Mayor's task force who laughed when he stated; "It seems kind of silly but as a result of all our hard work and research we have found that the homeless need homes." This task force has cost approximately $250,000 and bases most of its information on the research completed by the Homeless Needs Survey completed in the spring of 2007, which cost an additional $100,000 with the support of 250 volunteers for a week. No earth has been broken for low income housing in Victoria since 1988.

Mayor Alan Lowe has repeatedly announced that he will provide for the 1500 homeless people in his city by developing housing for them in collaboration with private business along with provincial and federal governments. Gordon Campbell's BC Liberal government reportedly is holding $250 million for low income housing which was promised to off set the displacement of the 'poor' by developement for the 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Meanwhile the 'Emergency Weather Protocal' was off to a very slow start. In fact the first 2 nights of sub-zero weather saw no reaction from City Hall. Some shelters opened anyway but the promise from city hall to open space for people to sleep was broken. Eventually the 'Protocal' was inplimented so that several concrete floors are now open for the homeless to sleep on but the fact remains that there is only room for 350 people of the 1500 counted by the city as homeless. City police have been moving everyone along at 6am while drop in centers are not legally allowed to open until 8am in accordance with city bylaws.

Comments

shebibd on 2007.12.02

there are plenty of buildings and houses around to house all the people and more. It's not house less it's sense less. If the churches had there doors open the people would realize that a true community would naturally look after all it's people.
If the city changed it's zoning a lot more houses would be able to house a lot more people.
The city shut down a person and a building that opened it's doors to house the house free. "spiral island".
The city is barricaded by laws of fear and has strangled it's resourced. The present government and education is designed to keep us all enslaved. David is right. the courts and present government is wrong.

rose on 2007.12.02

EWP is a sad reflection of our government in ability to care for its most vunerable people. It is not working the way it has been publicized to be. As I was walking through Vic this afternnoon. I was told that "Our Place was closing for five hours 3 pm until 8 pm. As I was being told this I looked around the drop-in and saw a wall of wall to wall people cold- tired-wet and hunger and wonder where the hell are these people going to be going for even five hours as the next nasty cold snap is embarking on our city? I know they are going to end up in our emergency wards clogging the doorways there or in the morgue. All the EWP where not schedule to open up until tonight at the same time as the pine apple express storm is hovering over our city. I think it is time for all people to rise up and risk taking direction on behalf of the homeless and join the movement of building a tent city.

blossoms on 2014.02.11

I just hope that the task force will do their job. They have been pretty keen with it. - Larry Starr Sarasota

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