As we slide into economic oblivion, this is the time our citizens need help the most, because things are going to get a lot uglier. Yet, you find new ways of creating barriers and exclusions from the poorest of the poor, the most vulnerable amongst us. Have you really no soul? Is your government really without a moral compass, or conscience that it would stoop to the lengths it continues to, so arrogantly, with an election close at hand? It would appear that the answer is Yes, yes and yes.
Sanborn's new story in the Tyee, Province's New Counting Makes Homeless Disappear, Say Critics sets out the lengths Campbell's government is going to disqualify people from being considered homeless:
Not if you couch surf, are recently homeless (under 30 days), people with inadequate housing with no heat, or water, if you & your children are in time-limited transition homes, or residential treatment programs ...
"The Homeless Indicator document says the new criteria are designed to "better identify and track homeless clients." It goes on to direct front line workers to classify aid applicants as homeless only when they have been living in public spaces -- on the streets, for example, or in abandoned buildings or in tent cities -- for more than 30 days or if they were brought into the system by a B.C. Housing outreach worker. "
"Couch surfing sounds innocuous," she told The Tyee. "But couch surfers are in a dangerous position. Too often what is happening is a young person has to pay for a warm bed by giving sex. It's not an acceptable way to live."
(Laura) Track [Pivot Legal Society] notes that Minister Coleman has in the past offered an estimate of the number of homeless that was one half to one third the figure used by researchers for the Centre for Applied Research on Mental Health and Addictions. Their findings put the number as high as 15,500. "
Gail Harmer, a retired welfare worker with long experience working with the homeless, told The Tyee "the new criteria will seriously undercount the number of the homeless on welfare. We're seeing this because of the upcoming election. The Liberals want to look like they are doing something."
A ministry representative told The Tyee by e-mail that in 2008, before the new way of defining who is homeless was in place, the ministry's Vancouver Coastal Region saw the number of homeless welfare recipients up by 312, a 19.7 per cent increase. For Vancouver Island Region, the increase was 17.6 per cent and for the North Region the increase was 33 per cent."
Wonder how much higher this is getting as each month passes and more people get laid off. Employment Insurance waits are well into 2 months for many. There are some hurting people in BC and not only don't I see our current government doing anything about it, they're actually behind a lot of the pain.
On May 12th 2009 ask yourself do we want more of our citizens to experience the kind of social murder that has happened over the past 8 years. Because I sure the hell don't. ABC.
BC's Homeless Numbers War
Housing minister slams studies, but won't order his own.
Metro Vancouver/GVRD "Still on Our Streets" report
MHSD- Homeless Indicator
Homelessness: Clear Focus Needed
B.C. Auditor General John Doyle
- Government has not established clear direction for addressing homelessness
- A lack of good information hampers government's decision-making
- Government is not adequately reporting on the results of it's efforts to address homelessness
Social Murder and Other Shortcomings of Conservative Economics
Corporate power is one of the strongest forces shaping our world. More than half of the top 100 economic entities today are private corporations. With their immense size comes commensurate influence, to the point where corporations are able to wreak social and environmental destruction with few serious consequences.
Social Murder examines the connections between the destructiveness of global capitalism and the professional economists who help keep it that way.
The Time is Now: A Poverty Reduction Plan for BC Slideshow
This is a narrated presentation about how BC could end street homelessness and reduce poverty by one third — within the mandate of the next provincial government (first chapter is shown above — view the full slideshow here). It includes interviews with people working on health, immigration and family well-being issues, and with Erna Calingasan, a parent struggling to make ends meet by working two jobs.