Treaty 1 Territory, Homeland of the Red River Métis, Winnipeg, Manitoba –
Today, mayoral candidate Rick Shone announced the first of his two-part plan to address homelessness and lack of affordable housing in Winnipeg.
Shone’s housing plan will take immediate, rapid action on temporary housing, increasing the number of safe, private spaces in a community setting with all necessary supports. Next, it would increase the number of second-stage, permanent places, out of shelters, helping the under-housed find long-term, affordable or supportive housing.
Emergency shelters are a vital, short-term necessity though we know they are not homes. We need to simultaneously focus on opening up more second-stage housing solutions to help the under-housed transition to more independent living.” said Shone. “This approach must be taken in concert with frontline organizations, federal and provincial partners and the city. The only way we will be able to make a change is by taking a wrap-around, team approach.”
“Housing is the first step to addressing the complex issues of mental health and addictions in our city; this is urgent.” said Shone. “I will do all I can to get city hall out of the way, investigate all possible new initiatives while lobbying provincial and federal policymakers to get to work.”
“For too long, city hall has downloaded responsibility to non-profits and frontline service providers, treating underfunded social organizations as a catch-all solution, this has to change,” said Shone. “It’s time governments put their money where their mouth is; I vow to do my part as mayor.”
Working with other levels of government and local non-profits, Shone will:
1. Fund additional 24/7 safe spaces.
2. Work with Council to provide vacant land and funding for the construction of a tiny home village, a proven approach in many North American cities, which must include addictions and mental health support.
3. Expedite and reduce permitting costs for non-profits who build affordable or transitional housing.
4. Convene and meet with stakeholders every two months with the purpose of collaborative, evidence-based decision-making from the city.
5. Advocate for an increase to support from other levels of government for more mental health and addiction supports for those experiencing homelessness.
“We need to recognize that homelessness affects us all and is the product of complex forces
requiring a multi-pronged approach, but this doesn’t relieve us of our duty to act. Residents experiencing homelessness are our friends, neighbours and family, and they are also Winnipeggers. We need to do better for them and all our residents.”