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Khazaeli: Encourage better solutions for Ottawa homeless people

Voters do not demand a real homeless solution, so the government outsources responsibility to emergency shelters. In emergency shelters, people have to line up every night to secure a bed.

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People with addiction are not endemic to downtown. The opioid crisis affects all levels, not just the homeless in the city. But you can’t know that by mapping services that are overwhelmingly downtown. The life-threatening overdose of Kanata’s teens was the cause of our mayor’s reversal of opposition to monitored consumption areas. Now square it with the fact that all four monitored sites in Ottawa are downtown.

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The crisis seems to be amplified due to the concentration of services in downtown. If the service is not available where it is needed, it will be migrated. According to a survey of the homeless population in Ottawa, 39 percent lived in Ottawa within a year. Instead of enhancing the stereotypes of addiction as a “downtown” issue, we need to be able to access essential services from anywhere in Ottawa. Community resistance is a barrier that needs to be dismantled.

An underlying common theme against the existence of stigmatized groups in all regions is the rise in crime and the fear of unwanted behavior. These concerns are justified, but they fundamentally reflect policy failure. It’s time to be honest about what works and what doesn’t.

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We treat the homeless poorly and deny the basics we all take for granted. We tap on our backs to donate to the shelter and are unaware of how minimally the homeless have improved.

Voters do not demand real solutions for homelessness, addiction and mental health, so the government holds emergency shelters accountable. In emergency shelters, people must line up to secure a bed at night. There is no place to go with theirs. And that’s when they aren’t denied due to drinking requirements or capacity restrictions. So why do they walk around all day, have sex in the open, urinate and defecate in public? Where else are they supposed to do all these very ordinary things? There is no place for the homeless to be who they are.

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The shelter is a stop gap. They are unsafe, overcrowded, and worse than our prison. Unlike prisons, shelters are not legally required to maintain human dignity. That’s why some people choose to sleep roughly. I talked to an individual who used our emergency shelter and am amazed at what I learned. It’s strange that everyone sleeps. So why did we fund shelters in the last century?

It’s time to try something new. Housing First moves people experiencing homelessness to stable, long-term housing with no prerequisites, keeping people away from streets and shelters. Support housing for people with severe illness or addiction is even better. Oaks is a home-managed alcohol program whose residents are provided with a small glass of alcohol under supervision. This is a significant deviation from other recovery approaches that assess abstinence and works. The client never gets drunk and is not tempted to take desperate action to get the next fix. And it’s stable. Less publicized programs do the same with opiates. First in Canada, it’s in a private location in Ottawa, but this time residents haven’t complained about discarded needles, public drug use, and dealers. That’s a good sign.

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You may be wondering why you “pay for the addict” or “too lazy to work”. The answer should please them. Not only are these programs clearly effective, but they are also fairly inexpensive as they offset the costs of health interventions, law enforcement agencies, and emergency shelters. People suffering from addiction cost the Canadian economy $ 38 billion in medical costs, criminal justice, resource diversion, and loss of productivity, negatively impacting those around them every day. This number should awaken even the smartest and most thoughtful economist.

As I headed for the election, I realized that no party was serious about the homeless. Local elections are also not promising. It’s not surprising considering who will vote, in this case not. But the misery will be exacerbated until equal distribution of services replaces concentration and innovative solutions replace outdated service models.

Susan Kazaeri President of Action Sandy Hill. Her opinion is only her.

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Khazaeli: Encourage better solutions for Ottawa homeless people

Source link Khazaeli: Encourage better solutions for Ottawa homeless people

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