Vision Vancouver ran on a platform of ending homelessness. After they were elected, they wiggled out of their promise by using the cynical semantics we’ve all become accustomed to from Vision. Their new promise was to end street homelessness. Even this weaker promise has been spectacularly broken.
Under Vision Vancouver, the total homeless have grown from 1,576 in 2008 to 1,798 in 2014. Between 2011 and 2014, the number of unsheltered homeless has grown by 249 percent – from 154 unsheltered in 2011 to 538 unsheltered in 2014.
Governments that are serious about addressing homelessness build permanent housing. The Mayor’s Office has just announced 157 units of “interim” housing at a hotel slated for demolition. No doubt that site will become more unaffordable condos built by their developer friends. Homeless folks need permanent homes, not band-aids.
When it rains in Vancouver, it’s worth remembering that not everyone has a dry place to call home.
For some progressive solutions, read COPE’s Housing Platform here.