I had an opportunity to speak as a panel at City Hospital yesterday to a room of social workers on the cost of homelessness. The Star Phoenix did cover a bit of what I talked about in todayâ€™s paper.
Implementing a plan with the idea that "everything starts with housing" is among the initiatives different organizations are taking to combat the growing problem of homelessness in Saskatoon.
"It’s hard to get your head around addictions and mental health issues if you don’t have a place over your head," said Jordan Cooper, the Salvation Army’s shelter director.
Cooper was one of six panelists who addressed a group of nearly 100 social workers and community members who gathered Tuesday to discuss the growing problem of homelessness.
"We went from a very sleepy, quiet shelter before the housing boom hit," Cooper said. Every time it adds capacity, the shelter fills. In the last year, its emergency overflow has also become full.
After realizing adding capacity was not getting the job done, the Salvation Army decided to look at working with landlords and tenants to support moving people into rental housing.
The program will provide support to ensure rent and bills are paid on time, create spending plans, ensure homes are furnished and make sure clients get settled in.
Apparently CTV covered what I said as well but since I hate seeing myself on television, I didnâ€™t watch the story. I have a face for radio and a voice that is best suited for Twitter. While the boss did mention that she saw me on television, I wasnâ€™t yelled at, given a formal warning, or even had anything tossed my way so it couldnâ€™t have been that bad. She later sent me out to talk to CBC television which depends on their coverage of the budget, may or may not make it on the air.