This week, the United Nations World Urban Forum is being held in Vancouver. The conference is a place where NGOs, urban designers and planners, as well as other special interest groups discuss the growing population of major cities, and how to deal with the problems that causes.
A focus at Monday’s meeting was the homeless. Despite current efforts, and international treaties on adequate housing policy, as a city grows, so do the number of those left behind.
Spokesman for the National Housing and Homelessness Network, Michael Shapcott said that rent in Ontario is so high that 60,000 families are evicted every year, many remain homeless. Every month his group commemorates the homeless persons who have died that month, an average of 10 in Toronto alone.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said that Canada is devoting $1.4 billion into affordable housing… but many note that throwing money at the problem will not make it it go away, and that a strategy is needed before any money changes hands.
This Torontoist commutes along College (and Spadina) every day, passing a fair share of homeless people asking for 89 cents, claiming they haven’t eaten in 45 days, or sitting in the Coffee Time smoking room having a 4am crack fix right next to CAMH. There are many familiar faces in the neighbourhood, but where is the infrastructure to help them?
[photo: Home Game – Rob ‘s personal collection]