Social assistance, disability assistance, social services, mental health services, addiction treatment, supported housing and minimum wage. Funding for all of these services have not kept up with the growing demand or rising inflation, in fact many of these services are below what was provided 10 years ago. Canada’s social safety net has many holes and one big one is housing. People are living on the streets in the downtowns of every city in Canada.
Living on the street is a generous description, these people are failing to thrive and are a reflection of a failing and underfunded social service system. We will need more police and more locks on our doors and more hospital beds, if we are unwilling to invest in supports that provide the basic needs of people. Othering and pointing at the symptoms as the cause while ignoring our part will guarantee more of the same.
Try volunteering, be part of the solution, talk with someone and find out how you can help.