For Immediate Release
24 October, 2023
NDP Leader, Jim Dinn (St. John’s Centre), is calling on the provincial government to treat homeless tenters with dignity and respect after learning the safe places they were promised did not meet their needs. Some examples include arriving at places with unfinished walls made of plywood, and telling a mother that her and her son would have a place of their own that would not jeopardize her sobriety only to learn they would be sharing accommodations with others struggling to cope with the housing crisis.
“Government is not offering dignity and compassion to the people living in tents,” said Dinn. “It’s clear their priority is to get these people living in tents removed from the hill to cover up government’s embarrassment,” Dinn said. “It appears as though government is telling people living in tents their needs will be met to entice them to leave Confederation Hill, only for the individual to arrive at a poorly maintained shelter with plywood walls, or putting them in situations where their sobriety would be put in jeopardy. These are not the actions of a compassionate government. This is damage control. It’s a bait and switch.”
Dinn says a plan is needed that meets the needs of people struggling to find housing. This plan must also have intake capacity for the many people who are precariously housed and could find themselves in need of support.
“If what I saw today is the safety net that people in this province have to rely on, it’s no wonder people have preferred sleeping in tents in the rain and wind until more humane housing options were found,” said Dinn. “The government needs to be reminded there are many more unhoused people than the ones we see on the lawns of Confederation Building. They are living in the woods, they are hiding in parks across the city, and in a recent case someone’s desperate need for shelter found them sleeping in a stranger’s shed for the night. This is not indicative of a government that is effectively addressing a housing crisis. It’s like the government isn’t taking this seriously.”
Photos of the living conditions are available to media upon request.
For further information, contact Eddy St. Coeur, Director of Communications, NDP Caucus at 729-2137 (o), or email@example.com