Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Day 1 -- Cranbrook

We want to thank the people we met at the Salvation Army, many of them homeless, who were kind enough to tell us about their experiences. One of them told us that he
believes the situation in Cranbrook has improved this year because there is now an emergency shelter for men, and that showers and laundry facilities were built at the Salvation Army. But he reminded us that an emergency shelter is not a home. A home to him includes a room, kitchen facilties, a washroom and privacy.

We were privileged to meet the Chair of the local Housing Coalition, Anglican Priest Yme Woedrest. He argued that the municipal, provincial and federal governments and the private sector must work together to improve the situation. And he said that the crisis of homelessness will not be solved unless developers' motives include compassion as well as profit.

Many people in Cranbrook talked to us about a cruel irony. As the real estate boom increases property values at the top of the market, rents at the bottom of the market are pulled up and homelessness increases.

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