Homelessness task force needs Burnaby residents' support
Re: Burnaby's silence on homelessness deafening (Column, NewsLeader, Jan. 11)
Thank you for writing about homelessness.
Issues of extreme poverty and homelessness continue to be a reality for too many Burnaby citizens and create many obstacles for citizens to have their basic needs met: specifically housing, adequate income and supports.
The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness is committed to working with all levels of government, social service agencies, business and faith communities and concerned citizens to ensure the provision of housing, support services, and health care to people who are dealing with homelessness or at risk of homelessness in Burnaby.
The task force works to inform, educate and advocate for changes to the situation of people facing homelessness in our community.
We are fortunate to have amongst our membership the expertise to provide a continuum of housing as well as the experience of successful models of housing in neighbouring communities. The continuum of housing for which we advocate in Burnaby is designed to assist people with leaving the street, providing support services and expertise to deal with medical care, addiction and mental health difficulties.
As people become stabilized they are provided with supported transitional housing to remain off the streets and learn long term solutions to leading productive lives. Although there is a transition house and second-stage housing for women and children fleeing abuse, and supported independent living for older
women who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, so much more is needed.
In 2008 the City of Burnaby created a framework for supporting a shelter/transitional housing facility in Burnaby. In 2012 the city approved a template for transitional housing, which could be utilized once a suitable location in Burnaby is determined. The city also recommended secure funding is obtained from senior levels of government to ensure the success of this initiative.
The task force needs Burnaby citizens to speak out about the need for partnerships, collaborative practices and political strategies to address the underlying issues of homelessness.
Our work needs your support.
If you would like to be kept up to date about our work, please visit www. urnabyhomelesstaskforce.org. We would be happy to add you to our email list as well to keep you informed.
Together, we can ensure our Burnaby neighbours receive the housing and services essential for a better life.
Community Development Coordinator
Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness