Thursday, October 08, 2015

Homelessness NIMBY?

This is the spot in Leaside where Raising the Roof told people a homeless shelter would open. It was a stunt created by an ad agency Leo Burnett.

Recently an organization called Raising the Roof posted a sign on a storefront in Toronto's toney Leaside neighbourhood announcing the future site of a homeless shelter. They did it to draw attention to homelessness and how we perceive and react to it when we are comfortably middle class. They installed a secret camera to capture what was on peoples' faces when they read the sign.  There was a strongly NIMBY response and some area residents were offended that they were duped. Get over yourselves people!

As I have mentioned, poverty hasn't been a debate issue at all during this election and locally neither the Conservative or Green candidates bothered to show for the debate on poverty. During that debate one candidate made reference to the homeless shelter which has been discussed ad nauseum in Belleville but never realized.

There are homeless persons in this town although we tend not to see them. One couch surfer was in this morning looking for assistance and she said she slept on Front St. last night. I have noticed people sleeping along the water on my morning cycle to Bridge St and I've wondered what I should do.

Saturday is World Homeless Day and I hope we all ask what can be different in our communities and what our congregations are doing to address homelessness.


World Homeless Day


Judy said...

Some communities in other countries re setting up single tiny homes in an area for homeless people - the basic necessities... free of charge ... we ought to look into how this has been accomplished and what the results have been .... nobody should have to sleep on a street or on a waterfront trail or under a bridge, with only what is on his/her back as personal belongings - everyone should have a roof over his/her head.I realize mental illness is a factor in some homeless people's choices to live on the street, but surely there is help, in this day and age, to ensure that these folk are safe, and warm at night, especially in Canada' cold winters.

Frank said...

I think Judy's comments need to be followed up in a substantive fashion.
Especially now that the weather is slowly ebbing into winter when lives are at risk.

David Mundy said...

Medicine Hat has instituted housing for the homeless under a fiscally conservative mayor who was skeptical at first but realizes it makes good economic sense. Thanks for the comments!