HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY
Newfoundland and Labrador
ALISON COFFIN, M.H.A.
District of St. John’s East - Quidi Vidi
PO Box 8700, 5th floor East Block, Confederation Building, St. John’s, NL, A1B 4J6
Office: (709) 729-3709 Fax: (709) 576-1443 Email: AlisonCoffin@gov.nl.ca
Dear Premier Furey,
I am writing today regarding two very important issues prevalent in my district of St. John’s East-Quidi Vidi. These issues, however, are not specific to my district and affect all areas of the Province to varying degrees.
The first issue is the growing concern expressed to me by individuals and families about an influx of violence and crime in the neighborhoods of this area. The second issue concerns the individuals who are involved in these incidents of violence and crime. As you are aware many of these individuals are affected by issues related to mental health and poverty. They are in need of support.
These neighborhoods, from Spencer Street to Empire Avenue, and others in and around my district, are reaching a breaking point. Many people do not feel as safe as they used to and others feel trapped in a desperate state of poverty and addiction.
On behalf of these residents, I ask you to take action. These communities and individuals need social workers, mental health support, access to income, safe places to recover from drug and alcohol abuse, supported and affordable housing. These vital services must meet the individuals where they are.
I understand that the Social Services Committee has deemed the overlapping issues of homelessness, mental health, addictions and income insecurity as a priority concern. Social enterprises and grass roots community programs are doing their best but we need the Provincial Government to step in with additional supports and clear directions.
Mental health struggles like addiction, violence, crime, poverty, precarious housing, poor living conditions and lack of public safety exist in such magnitude only in the absence of well-funded, well-delivered and accessible programs.
Premier Furey there are children and young adults witnessing violence and crime on a regular basis and others experiencing the trauma of poverty and addictions. My constituents want to know the plans for those living in my district. The people of Newfoundland and Labrador want to know how this matter is being addressed. Would you please provide me with an update on the work of the Social Services Committee on this matter? We would all be reassured to know the specific actions and timelines you intend to implement. I am here to support and work with you and the many other stakeholders so we can move towards healthier and safer neighborhoods in my district and our province.