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Kendall Worth: Lack of affordable housing becoming more pressing

Photo Robert Devet

KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – I read the story about the sleeping rough survey. This story does not surprise me.

See also: Sleeping rough in HRM continues even in winter, survey shows 

The thing is over these past four weeks or longer, contacts I have in my community have been talking more and more about these types of issues. Then every time these days when I walk along Spring Garden Road I see more evidence of people sleeping in tents and crisis shelters. 

Have any of you readers been by the old Spring Garden Library lately? – Well for one answer to this question, I myself was just at that very location early this morning and I saw the exact same two crisis shelters I have been seeing for the past several months set up outside the old Library – plus I saw at least four tents set up this morning as well. Also I should mention there is another crisis shelter set up in Victoria park on the corner of Spring Garden and South Park Street.

I saw the part of this story that says “On their wishlist of services they mentioned things like showers, storage for stuff, drug free shelter, less toques more socks, access to work or college courses, laundry, food services that respect allergies, and smaller and safer shelters.” I will say I admire and applaud them for speaking out and saying they want access to these services. All we can do is hope and pray that they will have somewhere to live other than just on the street.

A couple of weeks ago I got a phone call from someone whom I have not heard from in a few months. During this phone call he told me he has an old friend of his he has known for 20 years now staying at his place for the past couple of months. 

He also told me during this conversation that “Kendall, my friend who is staying with me has already overstayed his welcome, but Kendall, if I kick him out today, and I am wanting to, he will have to be going out onto the street.” 

Then my contact asked me, “I called you today, Kendall, to ask you if you know of any resources out there who can help my homeless friend make sure he is going to have somewhere he can and sleep tonight if I was to kick him out today.” 

I answered this question by saying, “Well, the fact that your friend who has been crashing on your cough is going to have nowhere to go after you kick him out does not surprise me.” 

Then I gave my contact the phone numbers for MOSH and Housing First. Then he said to me, “Thanks Kendall “I will not kick him out tonight and that is only because I do not want to see him leave my place and go out to live on the street.” Then finally he said to me, “Hopefully through calling those numbers you just gave me, I can get my friend out of here soon.” 

See also: Weekend video: I can feel safe at night

Kendall Worth is an award-winning anti-poverty activist who lives with disabilities and tries to make ends meet on income assistance.

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