Meeting with the Mayor-Homelessness

What about the homeless? How can we help? That was one of the questions raised by a member of our Residents of the Exchange group when we met with Mayor Bowman a number of weeks ago.  

Mayor Brian Bowman met with members of the Resident's Association of the Exchange District at the  Gurevich Art Gallery

Mayor Brian Bowman met with members of the Resident’s Association of the Exchange District at the Gurevich Art Gallery

Mayor Bowman acknowledges homelessness is a problem and says there are unfortunately people in our city who have fallen through the cracks of the social services provided. He has committed  $150,000 to a United Way plan to end homelessness in Winnipeg.  I have to admit this seems to me a paltry sum to address such a major issue especially when I read that in order to end homelessness the city of Medicine Hat provides housing for all homeless people at a cost of $20,000 per person a year.  However Mayor Bowman is hopeful that provincial and federal governments will also provide financial assistance. 

I found this April 2015 report from the Community Task Force to End Homelessness the group set up to deal with the United Way initiative but a year later their group is still very much in the organizational stage setting up a web of committees, boards and working groups and appointing directors for them.  

I attended a fundraiser recently for a homeless shelter in Steinbach and it was clear considerable money from private citizens and the business community was being used to provide alternatives for the homeless. I wonder if this is happening in Winnipeg as well.

This is an issue I know I need to learn more about. I walk down Main Street and down Selkirk Avenue many times a month to visit schools and volunteer in a Thrift Store and always encounter people who are homeless and are asking for money. This also happens almost every time I walk down Portage Avenue on my way to work. I am never quite sure what to do. I give out change if I have some. I should stop and talk as well, but I am often in a hurry. My husband Dave always takes time to chat with homeless people. I need to learn from him.

Other posts…….

Mayor Bowman and the Importance of the Arts

Rockin for a Reason

 

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