Answer

The challenges around homelessness, houselessness, and housing needs in our community should be addressed with the interdependence of housing, food security, transportation, engagement, accessibility of services, and the environment in mind. The needs of our community are complex and varied and require a nuanced response from the bottom-up that is empathetic and proactive. Understanding mental health/addictions of those experiencing homelessness, cultural sensitivity in understanding intergenerational trauma, and Indigenous protocols is essential. Only through this approach will we be able to end the cycle of poverty our at-risk population face.

  1. Prioritize Affordable Housing, Supportive & Transitional Housing, and Housing-First initiatives as steps in a pathway out of homelessness.
  2. Create infrastructure across Edmonton that allows for a more humane approach to living on the street, including public washrooms, water fountains, benches without dividers, etc. Involve community league frameworks and infrastructures to address homelessness.
  3. New 10 year plan for addressing homelessness including housing first, safe injection sites, transitional housing, and properly funded community-based responders like Bear Clan Patrol and Water Warriors YEG.
    • A) Utilize social service workers that are already in place to a greater extent within homeless-friendly city infrastructure like libraries and properly fund a response team outside of uniformed response for other areas like transit.
    • B) End police/peace officer response to city homeless camps except in extreme circumstances. Work with social support agencies that provide transitional housing, mental health and other support.
  4. Encourage smart growth that focuses on transit, accessibility, environmental impact, and local food security for the population.
  5. Encourage infill that maximizes space, encourages medium to high density developments, rejuvenates community and creates walkability.
  6. Incorporate food forests into new community design, redevelopment plans for existing neighbourhoods, and community league planning to ensure food security.