A homelessness focused event you might consider, and it's tonight
Homelessness is a disgrace in a country as blessed as ours. I trust most of us can agree on that. But on the positive side more and more jurisdictions are making serious inroads in eradicating it. The biggest breakthrough is the Housing First model – the idea that helping someone deal with the causes of homelessness starts with giving someone a home. This creates the stability needed to deal with the issues that caused the person to be on the street in the first place.
Here in Canada, Medicine Hat has become the poster child for this model, becoming the first Canadian city to eliminate homelessness. Figures don’t lie, and they show that the cost of giving someone a home is far less expensive than the costs to taxpayers of allowing them to exist on the street. Here is more information on the Medicine Hat experience including an interview from As It Happens with the mayor.
Point is, the Housing First model is catching on all over because it works. Here in Fredericton, much work has already been done and is continuing to be done toward the same end by our Community Action Group on Homelessness (CAGH)
Part of the challenge facing CAGH is getting buy-in from the larger community. And the first step toward that is making people more aware of homelessness, its causes and effects.
There’s a pretty cool event this evening aimed at just that. To mark National Affordable Housing Day – bet you didn’t know it was National Affordable Housing Day did you? No, neither did I until someone mentioned it. Anyway, it is, so there’s this event at the Wu Conference Centre to mark it, and it's tonight. And it’s free. It starts at 5 with a reception and socializing and hopefully some chat about homelessness, and there will be some live music mixed in with the finger food and refreshments. But the real attraction is at 6, when they are going to screen the full length, award winning film Lowdown Tracks.
Can’t say I have seen it, but I have heard about it and the buzz from film festivals has been quite amazing. It is being celebrated as a powerful documentary portrayal of the relationship between trauma and housing instability as it follows the lives of five street musicians living homeless on the streets of Toronto. Here’s the trailer
I plan to go and I hope you will consider it too. Did I mention it’s free?
Thanks for reading. If you can help spread the word on this event that would be appreciated. ReTweets are one way. We'd like to get as many people out as we can.