Media release Poverty

Media release: Nova Scotia ACORN: Open up hotels to those at highest COVID-19 risk

For Release April 16TH 2020                                        

Contact ACORN staff Sydnee Blum at halifax1@acorncanada.org to get in touch with ACORN spokespeople.

(Halifax) As COVID-19 cases rise, hundreds of underhoused Nova Scotians are unable to practice social distancing.  Nova Scotia ACORN is calling on the City of Halifax to open up empty hotel rooms to people in need of proper housing during the pandemic. 

As Nova Scotia prepares for the worst of the pandemic, hundreds of our most vulnerable are being overlooked. People who are homeless or living in shelters are particularly vulnerable to the coronavirus; it’s difficult to social distance when you are living with dozens of other people or unable to access personal protection measures. 

This is why Nova Scotia ACORN has made opening up the hotels a key demand in it’s ongoing COVID-19 campaign, which has seen over 10,000 signatures on it’s petition. 

Nova Scotia ACORN’s Mila McKay is facing homelessness at the end of the month when their residence contract is up: “I’m scared of what happens when I lose my student housing in a couple weeks. The government’s lack of acknowledgment of the homeless and housing insecure is frightening, during a pandemic we should all have a safe place to social distance.”

Shelters in the HRM have begun renting hotel and motel rooms for their most at-risk residents, but they’re limited by budget constraints and federal aid. No one should be forced to decide who can keep themselves safe and who can’t during a global pandemic. These hotel rooms are sitting empty while people sleep in shelters and on the streets. 

As part of our housing for all campaign, ACORN members are continuing to take action against the provincial and municipal government to ensure people have the means to keep themselves and their communities safe in this unprecedented 

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