The COVID-19 pandemic exposed system gaps and failures. It also mobilized a system response and my appetite for real change. I know that I am not alone. We are all in this together!
I am grateful for the progress that my community has made thus far in protecting homeless individuals.
But London is still in a housing and homelessness crisis and this, in itself, is a public health crisis that demands action. It is a crisis that will grow during this time if we don’t do something about it.
That the $2000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) income for people struggling during the pandemic was more than double the social assistance rates for people struggling before the pandemic, really demonstrates that we punish people for being poor. The CERB should be reinstated as a permanent policy of basic income that provides every Canadian a foundation for stability.
It’s time that we recognize the unique mental and physical health challenges that disproportionately affect people experiencing homelessness and poverty. We need to treat substance use as a health issue ensuring people have access to safe supply and an adequate system of treatment options.
It’s time that we put policy in place that ensures housing for all instead of the commodity it is today. Safe, affordable, and adequate housing is the foundation to any person’s ability to be successful and should be guaranteed for everyone.
Housing, with supports, is the solution to homelessness and income the solution to poverty. As my elected representative, I beg you to rise from your seat and raise our collective voice in support of humane public policy.
YOUR NAME and ADDRESS here.