The long-term cost of not adequately housing our poorest citizens increases the more we put it off. These costs show up in healthccare, social services, justice systems and other funded programs.
What is the biggest barrier we face?
We invest in major infrastructure and we realize that it requires an on-going investment. When we look at the essentials of life – air, water, food and housing – it would seem that we believe that these are “free” and that no investment is required.
This ingrained attitude is our greatest barrier.
We need assistance in breaking down this barrier to ensure that there is not only one-time funding, through good-will and charity or “emergency government funding,” to assist the homeless, but instead that there is recognition that these essentials of life require an on-going commitment and stabilized funding to ensure that they remain available for us all to enjoy equally.
The solution to eliminating homelessness is housing.
PATH will develop a housing community, unique to the needs of our neighbours who most need it and the supports required to survive, heal, stabilize and thrive in their own community. 15 cabins will bring 15 people in from the cold this winter.
It’s a start. People genuinely care and want to help.
Other cities have created tiny home communities and we can learn from their examples. They have generously offered their advice, such as offering the right supports to residents so they can move on to more stable housing.
However, the City of Peterborough has not received this idea and our hard work. Yet, we continue to believe in this work and press forward to find a site that works for everyone.
Despite their concerns, we have a plan to provide services, such as water and garbage disposal, on our site. We also have partners willing to help us provide the dignity that our unhoused citizens deserve.