Monday, November 14, 2011

Notice to Quit

I am thankful that the city is finally do to take action on the Occupy Saskatoon group and the camping in city parks (SP Nov. 14/11.) I walked by the Dumont Park campsite the other day and had the sense this is no longer a protest group but a squatters' camp. It is nicely tucked away from the eye of the general public so as not to draw attention from anyone save a handful of daily walkers and joggers on the MVA trail and, of course, the odd media article on a slow news day.

If you want public attention to the cause, set up camp in front of City Hall. Then again, you would have been evicted on Day 1.

Although not ideal, there are homeless shelters available to those in need. I was a little taken aback by the comment of one camper who stated in today's paper: "At the Salvation Army, you're only really allowed a week or two, then you're left scrambling to go on welfare or to find a job."

Does that mean camping in a park when it is -30, with no toileting facilities, a better option than welfare?

It is important to keep the issue of affordable housing in the forefront for governments. But creating and encouraging long-term camps in parks is not effectively addressing the issue.

1 comment:

  1. In most cases homeless people have much greater issues than the affordability of housing. They often have addiction, mental health and social interaction issues that cause them to be less than ideal tennants. Before the issues around homelessness can be properly addressed their other issues need to be addressed and there was no mention of that from the "occupy" gang. Spending a few days or even weeks occupying a park is an insult to the dedicated people who work tirelessly at our local service agencies trying to make an actual difference not by-lines or head lines. Getting individuals ready to live in market and/or specialized housing is the real answer not camping out for a few days!


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