Thursday, March 13, 2008

David Chudnovsky's Statment in the Legislature on the Homelessness Count

(Standing Order 25B)


D. Chudnovsky: Yesterday in Metro Vancouver, the Fraser Valley and a number of other centres, hundreds of volunteers counted people who are homeless in our communities. I was privileged to be one of those volunteers.

There are two reasons why the homeless count is a vital exercise. First, we need to know the breadth and depth of the crisis so that we can develop appropriate policies and legislation to improve the situation. Second, we owe it to every one of the thousands of people in our province who are homeless to notice them — to acknowledge them, to tell them that in at least this small way they matter — and to remind everyone that the homeless people of B.C. are not an alien species from another planet. They are our sons and our daughters, our brothers and sisters. They are us.

The preliminary results will be available in a few weeks, but there are already indications the numbers will be dramatically higher than three years ago when the last counts were done.

I want to thank the volunteers who took the time to meet, speak with and count their neighbours who are homeless. I want to thank the caregivers and service providers who every day do their best to provide hope and support in a circumstance that is at present very bleak.

Most of all, I want to thank those thousands of British Columbians who are homeless for their courage, for their resilience and especially for their patience in the face of a crisis which every day challenges them and shames and demeans the rest of us.

I ask every MLA to commit today and every day to the eradication of homelessness in British Columbia. It's a crisis we can solve. It's a crisis we must solve.

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