Monday, December 3, 2007

Day 1 Nanaimo-Finding Our Way Home

Today in Nanaimo we met with people who are homeless, service providers and local government officials. Everybody agreed that the homelessness crisis in Nanaimo has gotten significantly worse over the last five years. Unanimously, people agreed that the most urgent need is for more affordable housing units. They reminded us that the crisis isn't only a Vancouver problem but affects the smaller centres as well. In fact as things get more difficult in Vancouver many people end up in Nanaimo and many of those become homeless. We heard a number of practical suggestions for improvement that will be part of David's report in the spring.

The most moving moments of the day came when we spoke with those who are actually homeless. Here we learned of the day to day hardships and challenges those who do not have a home face. We met a young couple in the Salvation Army who rented two rooms earlier this week only to find that their landlord took their money, left town and put their belongings on the sidewalk where many of them were stolen. Now they have no money, almost no clothes and are left with no where to live. This is not an isolated case. Tomorrow we travel to Courtenay.

Nanaimo Schedule

December 3rd

7:30 am
7/10 Club
at 285 Prideau Street,
Community Service Building Early morning breakfast Program

walk to Samaritan House chatting with some of those on the street

Samaritan House
Tour of Samaritan House

Salvation Army 19 nichol street
Lunch program with Ed Robertson of New Hope Center (part of Sally Ann)

Lunch and tour with Jim Spinelli-
Chair, BCNPHA / Executive Director, Nanaimo Affordable Housing
The Nanaimo Women's Centre
Tour and Meeting

2-3 pm
Salvation Army/New Hope Center
19 Nicol Street
Meet with staff to talk about needs of clients

Nanaimo City Hall
455 Wallace Street
Meeting with mayor and council


jmac said...

I don't think the homeless need to be used by a politician to try to make headlines and create photo ops for himself. If you want to help do so, and lets see you lead with your personal actions.

Anonymous said...

Oops! A cranky person. In 1996 I called BC Buildings Corp. to see what available space there was on the west side of Vancouver. Net result? Lookout South operated on SW Marine Drive as a shelter until 2002 when the Liberals came to power. Building was torn down.
condos in its place. That's the story of Gordo and now Silly Sam.
Are you going to Nelson? Many homeless there.

Anonymous said...

Tom , you are a fuck head! You think helping admitted alcoholics, and drug addicts, is the answer!!?? you are the main reason this town is getting worse!!! I dont like paying for gas tom, why dont why just get some free gas because i like to drive around and do nothing!!! FUCK OFF. You and shawn wilson have another thing coming IDIOT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tom..yeah thats your part f the answer and is good when we have the courage to leave name