“You don’t treat homelessness with emergency shelters and hope to cure it.” Those words were shared by Medicine Hat’s mayor at a recent forum at UFV. Medicine Hat is known as the city that solved homelessness, so perhaps we should pay some attention.
Another person sharing information is Soledad Vega. Below are two excerpts from Vega’s article “Solving Vancouver’s homelessness problem through public health care”, Rabble.ca.
“A study released in 2012 by Dr. Michael Krausz, a professor of psychiatry at UBC and the UBC Providence Leadership Chair, found that half the people who are homeless first found themselves without a home before they turned 25. Eighty-five per cent suffered some kind of emotional, physical or sexual abuse in their childhood, many of them while in foster care. The study also found that 93 per cent of all homeless people have a current mental disorder and 83 per cent exhibit a substance abuse disorder.”
“Finding ways to provide the proper medical support for the most vulnerable will be far more productive than discussing this year’s statistics on street homelessness.”
Or we can hold tightly onto the status quo, label those on the street as “lazy”, and loudly begrudge the few services that are provided.