Home
 
Choose Your City
Change City

Failing grade for city on homeless issue

Ottawa is not making the grade when it comes to homelessness services,according to several homeless groups in a report card to be issuedtoday.

Ottawa is not making the grade when it comes to homelessness services, according to several homeless groups in a report card to be issued today.

After another distressing year, the Alliance to End Homelessness will call for a formal investigation into the lack of progress for homeless services in Ottawa when it releases its fifth annual Report Card on Ending Homelessness in Ottawa.

“Over the past five years, progress with regards to homelessness has slacked,” said alliance chair Perry Rowe. “There is an increase in the amount of time that people stay in shelters. There’s an increase in the number of children and families that stay in shelters and there’s been no increase in the amount of affordable housing by the city.”

The report card reveals there were 747 homeless families with 1,179 children under 16 years old in 2008 — a 15 per cent increase over 2007. Not only were more people homeless but also they stayed in shelters an average of 51 days, five days longer than in 2007.

Since the numbers are based on 2008 statistics, Rowe said it would be false logic to blame the increase on a slumping economy.

“This is the numbers for 2008. Stay tuned what’s going to happen come the middle of 2009 when the layoffs that are already announced start to kick in,” he said. “How many more people are going to fall through the cracks of the system?”

Rowe said they are looking for something like an auditor general investigation or a provincially or federally empowered panel that would determine where they could do more to deal with the “people aspect of homelessness.”

The final grades will be announced today along with “Made-in-Ottawa Solutions” to address the problem.

 
 
Consider AlsoFurther Articles