In the five years that I have been writing on various topics for Westcoastpugnacioushomelessness has been the most disturbing and difficult issue.
Comparing the homeless issue in different countries has been illuminating to say the least. One common denominator ..the political announcements that spew out like tsunamis of rhetoric. In particular one such announcement made me cringe and shake my head..at the same time…it will be discussed later, but here is a taste..’The Conservatives plan to cut ‘rough sleeping’ in half by 2022 and to eliminate it entirely by 2027.’ How? ‘By establishing a homelessness reduction task force.’
Mayor [Czar] Robertson loves task forces, in fact he is a glutton for task forces. Some history on homelessness: A Canadian Is A Canadian Even If Homeless?
Chico, my compadre in delivering missiles at all and sundry. is very democratic and no individual or nation is ignored … and helped me no end with ‘homeless’:
THE PREGNANT TEENAGED PALESTINIAN
Before the Hallowe’en candy was consumed, Christmas Sales flyers and commercials were appearing, stores were decorating for the holidays, and television stations were already scheduling many mediocre movies of yucky Yuletide yore. Most of Christendom goes a little crazy at this time of the year, celebrating the birth of their icon to a homeless Palestinian teenager, to coincide with of the pagan Feast of Saturnalia. To a space alien it may all seem a tad incredulous, with so much frivolity and excess spending by so many who figure the nativity story to be just another one of those Hebraic myths and fables, preferring to party on with other fictitious dudes like Santa Claus and Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer. The homeless status of Mary, the pregnant teenaged Palestinian, is all but forgotten, even by those who take it as gospel truth that she gave birth in a cowshed because there was no room at the inn.
Last week a report from UK gave the number of homeless people there as 300,000, or one in every 200 sleeping rough. In Canada last year there were an estimated 35,000 homeless on any given night. Another 50,000 were defined as “hidden homeless” depending on friends or family for shelter, in a country where the leading industry is real estate — the construction of which some provincial budgets depend upon. As in other countries, tent cities are all across Canada with politicians at all levels pledging to provide affordable housing, but those promises are mostly unkept election after election, as homeless populations grow. Rare positive efforts to permanently house the homeless in cities like Vancouver and Victoria are often met with opposition from NIMBY groups who want to keep neighbourhoods for themselves.
A sad fact of life is that many homeless people suffer from addiction or other mental health problems, outcasts from a society who should really be taking care of them in hospitals and institutions, remedies that are forgotten in history. During this prolonged Christmas season, maybe the same society could take a short break from excessive spending and partying to implore politicians everywhere to do more for so many disadvantaged and disillusioned people who find themselves in a similar position to the homeless Mary, the pregnant teenaged Palestinian.
A recent proclamation from Prime Minister Trudeau: Justin Trudeau’s plan to make housing great again Now for some destruction of Trudeau’s housing plan: Gordon Clark: National housing strategy not as ‘life-changing’ as advertised
More data/statistics and history of past promises coming soon. We can compare the United Kingdom with Canada. Sad again, Canada has a higher rate of homelessness per capita than the U.K.