Saturday, January 31, 2009

Vancouver: Bailing out the Homeless?

The city of Vancouver has announced that it is buying 700 units to help house the growing population of homeless people in the city. Over the last two years the City of Vancouver has spent over 100million dollars buying up 16 old hotels that it is now converting until shelters for the homeless, the mentally ill and the drug addicted.

Now we all know the only reason that they have been doing this is because they Olympics are coming next year and they want the city and the country to look good. Personally I don't care what the reasons are. No one should expect a government (local or otherwise) to be altruistic about these things. I just applaud the move, now if other cities in Canada could do the same it would be great!

In this economy? People need work, our construction industry that is going down the tubes due to the burst of the housing bubble could be hired to renovate old buildings or build new ones. Also the number of poor seems to be growing, they also seem to get younger and they have nowhere to go. It's like sending a bailout package to the most vulnerable people in society. Wether it's shelters or more social housing units, our young and our old could use a hand.

For those of you pessimists that say that it will encourage people to be homeless and underachieve I ask have you ever slept in a shelter with crazy drug addicted people? There are reasons that some homeless people will not go to shelters. Nothing would encourage anyone in their right mind to live on the streets, no matter what.

The plan... please feel free to add more things that I may have forgotten.
1- Government offers tax incentive to corporations who help in the building, maintaining and contribute to the operation of the building.
2-Corporations in need of a tax break spend money on Social Housing.
3-The governments(local, provincial & Federal) provide the rest.
4-Administration of shelters to be overseen by a partnership of local and national charity groups who would keep each other accountable.
5-Social housing would be looked over and administered the same as it is now, with new safeguards such as drug testing and education.

Love it or hate it's my opinion... If you'd like to read an overwhelmingly negative response to this please go read the comments section in the Globe and Mail when they worte about this.

Muchacho Enfermo

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