A group of ten community organizations and members are calling on the Halifax Regional Municipality to abandon its plan to remove temporary shelters from public property today, on July 13, 2021. Whatever its public justifications, what is happening is that the city is reacting to those who view the shelters as eye sores and their residents as bad for business and property values.
PSA: Halifax Mutual Aid response to the city’s July 13 ultimatum. “We can not in good conscience put people in a worse situation than they are currently in.”
The city of Halifax is telling people living in crisis shelters to leave their temporary homes by June 13, or they will call the cops and make it so. Councillors should stop hiding behind an amorphous city and become accountable for the city’s actions.
On Sunday about 150 people weathered the afternoon heat to participate in the Rally to Save the Shelters at the vacant old library on Spring Garden Road. Stephen Wentzell was there to tell you all about it.
Persistent rumors that the city is about to expel unhoused people from the 13 shelters provided by Halifax Mutual Aid have now been confirmed by city staff. Councillors seem to think that’s not a problem.
Art Fisher is the executive director of the non-profit Family Service Association of Western Nova Scotia. On Tuesday he appeared in front of a virtual Standing Committee of Community Services to speak about affordable housing and COVID-19. He made some excellent points, which is why we are publishing a transcript of his introductory remarks.
Good news! The Out of the Cold shelter, which was set to close at the end of April, will be able to stay open until June 30th, thanks to some federal funding and a landlord willing to extend the lease until then. Of course Out of the Cold will face the same problem again come July. We speak with Out of the Cold’s executive director Michelle Mallette about what needs to happen.
Coverdale Courtwork Society has announced that it will no longer be able to pay for hotel rooms for criminalized women and trans individuals who are exiting jails or who face homelessness for other reasons. That makes Coverdale yet another NGO which is no longer able to provide this crucial service to the population it serves. Just two days ago we reported that economic realities and a lack of provincial support were forcing Adsum for Women and Children to make a similar decision.
Over the last three months or so Adsum for Women and Children has spent some $50,000 on hotel rooms for people needing emergency shelter. That’s something the organization can no longer sustain, at least not at the current rate, says Sheri Lecker, Adsum’s executive director.
This weekend’s video is a short but powerful one, a conversation with Andrew, one of the folks living in a one-person crisis shelter constructed by Halifax Mutual Aid.