Website allows Canadians to email their MPs directly
CALGARY, Oct. 24, 2016 /CNW/ - Today the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH) launched a new campaign calling on Canadians to tell their members of parliament about the need to address homelessness in the upcoming National Housing Strategy. The campaign website will allow Canadians to email their MPs directly and will feature social advertising. The campaign website is at http://www.20khomes.ca/campaign/write-your-mp/.
"Canada has a homelessness crisis. Tonight 35,000 Canadians will sleep in shelter, on the street or in unsuitable housing," said Tim Richter, CEO of CAEH. "Over 235,000 people will experience homelessness at some point during the year. This has not always been the case."
Homelessness on the scale we see it today has not always existed. The rise of modern mass homelessness in Canada began in the 1980's and is the direct result of federal withdrawal from affordable housing investment and cuts to social services. In the last 20 years, as Canada's population grew over 30%, federal funding for affordable housing has dropped more than 46%. This has meant at least 100,000 units of affordable housing were not built.
"Fixing homelessness is actually much than cheaper ignoring it. Homelessness costs Canadians over $7 billion a year," continued Richter. "According to the State of Homelessness in Canada: 2016, it would take an additional $50 per Canadian per year – less than $1 per Canadian per week – in new affordable housing investment to end homelessness."
A number of Canadian cities including Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Red Deer and Medicine Hat are showing that with a focused effort homelessness can be reduced. Hamilton, Ontario – a part of our 20,000 Homes Campaign – has reduced chronic homelessness 35% in just one year. There's every reason to believe that success like this is achievable on a national scale.
"The government is currently finalizing its National Housing Strategy. Solving all of Canada's housing problems at once, from homelessness to the rising cost of home ownership, would be wonderful. It is absolutely the right objective, but the sheer scale of the challenge requires us to prioritize," concluded Richter. "It's important to tell your MP that you think ending homelessness should be a top priority in the new National Housing Strategy."
The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness leads a national movement of individuals, organizations and communities working together to end homelessness in Canada.
SOURCE Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
For further information: Michael Powell, 613-233-8906 (office), 613-797-7313 (mobile), [email protected]