Since she was first elected in 2011, St. John’s Centre MHA Gerry Rogers has been an outspoken advocate for the desperate need the province has for a strategy to address the many housing needs faced by the people of the province. A new report on homelessness in the capital city underscores the results of years of neglect by successive Liberal and Conservative governments. Today Rogers brought the issue back to the House of Assembly in Question Period.
“End Homelessness St. John’s Point in Time Count showed at least 800 people experience homelessness in this city in a year and at least double that across the province,” Roger said today. “The Federal National Housing Strategy is committing $2 Billion towards preventing and ending homelessness.
“I ask the Minister will she commit to a specific plan to end homelessness in her promised new Provincial Housing Strategy? And will she commit to a timeline for its release?”
The NDP Housing Critic says the solution must acknowledge the contributing factors that lead to individuals becoming homeless. Yesterday’s report highlights the specific needs of youth, and indicated a possible connection between youth homelessness and previous involvement with Child Protection Services.
“A shocking number of homelessness started in youth,” said Rogers. “I ask the Minister will she commit to a specific plan for housing and homelessness for youth in her Provincial Housing Strategy?”
Seventy per cent of homeless youth had been receiving services from Child Protection Services . Rogers says the minister must commit to reinstating prevention as a key mandate in her Child and Youth system so that vulnerable families can receive more help so as to prevent this high incidence of youth homelessness.