The city of Edmonton is currently struggling with its economy, which in turn is putting more and more people on the streets. Unable to support themselves, some people in Edmonton are sadly becoming the victims of homelessness.
In July 29, 2016, Scott McKeen told CBC “We have a significant problem of homelessness in the river valley which is taxing civil resources and revealing the underlying issue of a housing crisis in this city.”
Shockingly, very little has been done to solve this issue. In fact just recently, CTV Edmonton reported that the Churchill LRT station was open to the homeless, due to the cold weather. Unfortunately, this is all that the Government of Edmonton can offer at the moment is an open LRT station.
Although the city does have an “End Edmonton Homelessness” plan. This program is a 10 year plan…but a plan that commenced in 2009. It’s 2017 now. Statistics show that as of 2015, Edmonton has only nine shelters for the homeless. Nine shelters (with only 760 beds) for 2,300 people (according to a 2014 count). The government must know how little is done for these people.
That is not to say that these people are perfect citizens. They deal with addictions, mental health issues and most have criminal records, but they are people all the same. They should not have to rely on LRT stations to be kept open on winter nights, to be warm. They deserve to have a safe place; a bed for the night.
City of Edmonton has three years left, on their “End Edmonton Homelessness” program. It will be interesting to see what they do next.