– Be There on Wednesday October 9th at 8 p.m. at the St. Catharines Central Library in Niagara, Ontario –
“Work is underway on a community plan that has been undertaken by the Niagara Region-wide Housing and Homeless Service system.” – Lori Beech, Executive Director of Bethlehem Place
An Invite to All from the Niagara District Council of Women
Posted October 7th, 2019 on Niagara At Large
On Wednesday, October 9th at 8 p.m. at the St. Catharines Central Library, at 54 Church Street, the Niagara District Council of Women (NDCW) will hold a public forum on “Homelessness in Niagara-Community Solutions”.
Panelists will focus on the current efforts of agencies, individuals, faith communities and municipal governments to work together to quickly develop plans of action to prevent homelessness, serve those who suffer from it, build more affordable housing and stem the tide of Niagara’s growing housing crisis.
For, as panelist Lori Beech, Executive Director of Bethlehem Place, warns us, “The complex and multi-faceted community issues of poverty and homelessness require cross-sectoral collaborations for carefully planned, multi-pronged strategic solutions” such as the bi-national Road to Zero Homelessness program which the Region of Niagara has signed onto recently. She also notes, “Work is underway on a community plan that has been undertaken by the Niagara Region-wide Housing and Homeless Service system.
Panelist Carolyn Iononni , a Niagara Falls Councillor, an avid proponent of inter-agency, public and municipal government cooperation, agrees with this approach, saying that “Communities must stop saying this is not our problem and waiting for other levels of government to come to our rescue.”
In downtown St. Catharines , the community is already hard at work reaching out to those affected by homelessness .
For instance, panelist Karen Orlandi, Minister of Silver Spire United Church, worked with the Niagara Native Centre to bring the nationally-known and practiced Bear Clan Patrol program to downtown St. Catharines this past Summer “ in order to build relationships and build community, and help ”the homeless members of our community, who desperately need compassion, care and connection to realize that there is no difference between us and them but an education and a pay cheque.
Also on the front lines, panelist Karrie Porter, Niagara Housing Lead at Start Me Up Niagara, will not only tell us of that agency’s community experiences with effects of homelessness, and its programs to help , but as a St. Catharines City Councillor she will help illuminate the four years of hard work by Mayor Walter Sendzik , Councillors and City planning staff on an ambitious housing plan, the leadership role they played in drawing attention to the homelessness crisis, and the need to act quickly, while continuing to urge the federal and provincial governments to do their part by investing in affordable housing as promised .
The Niagara District Council of Women (NDCW) has 24 federated group members plus individual members from across the Region. This year we celebrate our 101st year of service to the community.
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“A politician thinks of the next election. a leader thinks of the next generation.” – Bernie Sanders