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Which is the best way to solve homelessness?

March 5th, 2009 · 10 Comments

This illuminating email exchange went is making the rounds today in the city, with two very different approaches to finding solutions to homelessness.

Hello Michael,

Would you publically, along with HEAT, Streets to Home, BCS, Gregory
Henriquez and Housing Providers, have a press conference and say to the
province and feds that we need them to fund 800 units of social housing per
year for 10 years in the City of Vancouver to stay on target with Homeless
Action Plan which is the real solution?

Carnegie Community Action Project

CC to Media desks and Reporters

—–Original Message—–
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: March 4, 2009 7:39 AM
To: [email protected]
Subject: modular housing for the homeless

Wendy, as you may be aware, I have received some funding from the province
to examine the feasibility of a ‘Demonstration Project’ using modular homes
for the homeless.  I would like to set up an informal meeting with you to
show you what I have come up with and get your thoughts on the concept and
design details.

I recall that the last time I made this overture, you suggested that the
units were not necessary since since people could go into Little Mountain
and/or the empty hotel rooms.  As you may know, Little Mountain is not a
possibility.  I understand many of the hotels will be opened up, but with
little renovation.  Even still, there are not enough spaces to accommodate
everyone looking for a home.

It has been suggested to me that you may not support this approach since it
could deter the government from building new permanent homes.  I appreciate
this concern. You shared something along these lines on January 24th 2008 at
the DECLUP workshop when we first met.  However, I hope you would agree that
it is better to help people get into clean, safe homes now, rather than
continue to leave them on the streets for the two to three years it will
take to build permanent facilities.

Let’s talk!  Please call me or email me with some possible times.  Thanks.

Michael A. Geller B.Arch,MAIBC,FCIP
Michael Geller & Associates Limited
Adjunct Faculty, Centre for Sustainable Community Development,


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