Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The only Solution/Opportunity for Homeless People and the City.

  • Real Resocialization instead of attracting more homeless people.
  • None extra funds required.
  • More job opportunities.

I will reduce the current high concentration of homeless people in downtown Ottawa. By doing that I will create extra job opportunities at the same time.

Some of unemployed or those receiving social assistance can find gainful employment helping to house homeless in our City. In Ottawa we have many newcomers to our Country, specialists in sociology, psychology or related disciplines. Not having Canadian diplomas prevents them from getting productive jobs elsewhere. They will be happy to participate in such a program. This will give them an opportunity to earn their living and acquire an extra hands-on experience in their fields.

First, I will reassess and reduce to the minimum the downtown concentration of shelters. Their cost outside of the downtown core, where the real estate is expensive, can be reduced considerably by just moving them out of the central district.

I will not just move this problem elsewhere as one of our Mayoral Candidate proposed, or as it was once done in Alberta. Instead, I would propose the P3 project. This project will reduce the number of homeless, drug addicts and other vulnerable people on our streets.

We will help them. We will offer them a better chance by opening many small shelters based on private houses. These houses will be businesses-like, dynamic, flexible, linked in a network and government-controlled. They will be founded on the same principles as current shelters are. As small, often family-based businesses, they will be run efficiently based on the funds provided by the City. Homeless will be able to work and participate in home activities getting work experience and rehabilitation.

Here is how it will work. Currently the City provides a subsidy of $39.15 per each bed for one night to the shelter (80% of this money comes from the province and 20% is municipal). A person occupying the bed must meet eligibility criteria (almost all of the homeless are eligible).

Shelters receive some extra funds from other sources, for example from private donations.
In Ottawa, in total, we have 1000 beds for homeless people, and almost all of them are always occupied.

As an example:
Someone owns or rents a house and offers 6 beds in 2 bedrooms of his/her house.
Six beds times $1200 for a bed for a month results in $7200. Food and utilities for all inhabitants will cost no more than $2000/month. At least $5200 stays for mortgage (rent) and salaries for one extra employee.

The holder of the home, the employee and of course the homeless people will obviously benefit from this solution.

We have a few different types of shelters. Some have only 25 and some up to 200 beds.
Population of Ottawa is 855,000 while there is 8,550 homeless people in Ottawa. So homeless constitute 1% of the Ottawa’s population.

Unfortunately, at present, some of homeless people prefer sleeping under a bridge because in shelters, as they function now, they might have experienced beating; rape or their property was stolen in the past. In front of the big shelters there may be often a crowd of drug dealers to serve homeless and other people. This of course impacts people who visit or work downtown, tourists to our City, businesses in the city centre and everybody else.

With my creative solution no more harassment by beggars and no urine odour in pedestrian underpasses! Downtown will be safe and pleasant to visit again. Ottawans and tourists will enjoy peacefully the heart of our City. Tourists will stop trying to avoid Ottawa’s downtown and our beautiful Market area.

For more details, how these home based shelters will function, how homeless people will get there, and what to do with those who do not accept shelters’ rules or are troubles makers, please follow up my campaign.
*Resocialization is a sociological concept dealing with the process of mentally and emotionally "re-training" a person so that he or she can operate in an environment other than that which he or she is accustomed to.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I seriously think you're going to have a huge problem finding random people, who rent or own their homes, who will be willing to let part of their homes become a shelter.

3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is not the best idea but it seems that it is the only real solution that is being offered for Ottawa's community

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think this is not the best idea but it seems that it is the only real solution that is being offered for Ottawa's community

8:15 AM  
Anonymous Linda - a concern resident said...

First of all just giving them jobs and homes is not the answer it is giving them like the under-employeed person a fair wage in order for them to survive.

Before this can be done we need reconstruct the Charter of Rights, the Employment Standards and thes are not a municipal venue. They are a federal venue. So by saying that you will do all of this is a waist of my tax dollars to be spent.

I am an underemployed person that is working to get out of this situation.

So I wish that of the people running in the municipal elections would first of all learn who does what job. The city of Ottawa can direct this venue to anyone.

5:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well that will just cause more problems then it will fix.
Homeless people have mental health issues can be violent. And most hompless people stick to the downtown cores or they would starve to death. Same reason homless people don't vote. The only places they can vote, saddly they aren't welcome at these places. These same people who vote are the same ones that call and complain about homless people bothering them. Ottawa is beyond saving. And has no real place representing Canada as it's capital. The west lead is almost everyway. They should lead Canada.

5:09 AM  
Blogger Piotr Anweiler said...

Linda
If we will wait for Federal Government it will never happen. We all, including you have to act now. This is is the only way to reduce number of homeless people in Ottawa.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Monte Pelter said...

A business model solution to homelessness is completely INSANE. Business models are notorious for being sociopathic. They don't care about people, they care about profits. If you were elected mayor and this model was used I would personally make it my goal to ensure there was rioting in the streets.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

before you can address the homeless situation,...you need to address the fact that most homeless people suffer from mental illnesses. It's not a simple, cut and dry situation,...it's more complex than the solution you're providing.

Furthermore,...I'm homeless, and I'm a nurse. Our healthcare system the way it is, makes it extremely difficult to find full-time positions. I have to work several little part-time jobs,...non of which have benefits.
So, you tell me. If I'm struggling,...how is the person under the bridge suppose to get on their feet?

8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a real solution is to be offered, a real investigation into the problem has to be made. I agree with the above statements about the probability of the general public offering their homes to perfect strangers being slim to nil, and that the co-existing problems that many of these people face are more than what the average person can effectively aid in.

Shelters are indeed costly, and we should definitely be looking to reduce this. However, I do not agree with this solution. I believe that we should be following the example of other countries which offer 10% of public rental housing as subsidized housing (rent geared to income). This would provide more available housing, as well as allowing such a diverse population to become uncondensed. This is
currently a problem in itself. A survey performed at our shelters in February this year indicated that the highest factor for people using the shelters was there is a lack of affordable housing for many. According to ONPHA, the highest number of households that are on a waiting list are those of families, and they must wait an average of 4.5 years for an affordable home!! Talk about ridiculous.
ONPHA.ON.CA is a great resource for those who are actually interested in solving the homelessness issues in Ottawa.

As well, offering a minimum wage on which the working poor can be provided with the opportunity to acheive a higher quality of life without reliance on credit cards and loans to assist them - a reality which most have to come to accept as a fact of life. I think we can all admit this seriously detrimental to our economy. I know that I am an educated post-secondary graduate, and before I even think about getting a good head start on my life, I have a some ten-thousand dollar loan to pay off, too. $200 out of my pocket to pay my loan each month that could be put elsewhere into our economy, and that's before my non-affordable housing rent, in which I pay with roughly 60% of my income.

6:50 PM  

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