KJIPUKTUK (Halifax) – As I am sure many of you readers are already aware, a protest took place in Halifax yesterday where protesters were trying to protect tents and some of the last crisis shelters in this city from being torn down by police. I spent most of the day at the protest at the old library on Spring Garden Road.
As you readers may remember back in the spring this article I wrote: Lack of affordable housing becoming more pressing, was posted in Nova Scotia Advocate.
This story is very much what yesterday’s protest was about. It shows just one out of many, many examples as to what people living in poverty who are also homeless have to do in order to have a roof of some type over their head, and a place to sleep.
I am so happy that at one point during this protest MLA Gary Burrell showed up and spoke. He and the other NDP MLAs support rent control. If rent control had been in place perhaps at least a year or two before then maybe this whole thing that happened yesterday could have been avoided.
Now that so many of the tents and crisis shelters where homeless people were living got torn down, where are these people supposed to go when they do not have a home, and, as sources tell me, shelters and hotels are mostly full?
People who complain about the encampments do not seem to understand or care that some of the affected people live with mental health issues. These complainers should be reading these stories of mine about police and security guards going after people with mental health issues.
Many of the people who got evicted have nowhere to go. Here in Halifax and in other parts of Nova Scotia housing is not affordable. The cost of apartment rentals does not fit into the budget of what someone who is on low income can afford these days. Sources tell me that even the prices of rooms in rooming houses are going up.
It is because of yesterday’s actions by the city and police why there was an increase in the amount of homeless people sleeping outside on the streets of Halifax. The city’s actions on August 18th,2021 were uncalled for.
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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