Lack of permanent shelter deplorable Burnaby Now Dec 16, 2017
Unpublished letter to the Editor
Re: December 16, 2016 Lack of permanent shelter deplorable
I am writing on behalf of The Society To End Homelessness In Burnaby and the Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness, the Society’s diverse and collaborative strategic planning table.
Shelters have changed from overnight bed/meal programs, to 24/7 services ( up to 60 days) with skilled staff assisting guests with immediate needs and working towards permanent housing.
Onsite services include: support, planning, goal setting, referrals, medical care, addiction and recovery programming, computers, meals, laundry, rent subsidies, and reemployment opportunities.
Many shelters also include extreme weather beds which open to accommodate homeless individuals when there is a high health risk due to severe weather.
For guests requiring longer term support, transitional housing (up to 2 – 3 years) is frequently co-located with shelters building stability and successful transitions to permanent housing.
Metro Vancouver’s multiple examples of co-located shelters and transitional housing include the exemplary services of Lookout Society. These showcase collaboration between three levels of government in providing a seamless housing delivery system for homeless people.
The Society agrees addressing the fundamental issues of poverty, the cause of homelessness is crucial. We urge City Council to quickly move forward on collaborating with senior levels of government to implement a response to end homelessness in Burnaby.