On April 7, 2021, Make Poverty History Manitoba, Right to Housing and End Homelessness Winnipeg hosted their, From Crisis to Connection: Ending Homelessness in Winnipeg webinar. Hundreds of Winnipeggers came together on Zoom for a discussion about ending homelessness in our city. The event featured people with lived and work experience – including local Indigenous voices – sharing expertise and perspectives on ending homelessness in our city.
The speakers discussed questions like:
- Why does homelessness exist in our city?
- What factors contribute to this crisis, and who is responding to it?
- How can Winnipeggers take action to end homelessness, once and for all?
Speakers summarized critical solutions for ending homelessness. It’s clear that these solutions are different from charitable emergency responses – those emergency responses alone are not going to end homelessness. Yes – people who are unsheltered absolutely need access to shelters and warming centres, to food, to hygiene products, to public restrooms.
But supplying these products, building shelter beds – these are band aids. These are efforts to manage homelessness. And we need to invest in the solutions that are going to end it. We will not end homelessness without more affordable housing. And of course that alone is not the solution – the details around the type of housing, the quality of the housing, who operates it, the supports that come, and other critical supports like income, childcare, and mental health matter greatly.
The speakers said that if we are going to end homelessness, we must ask all levels of government to do more.
- Elder Charlotte Nolin
- Betty Edel, End Homelessness Winnipeg
- Adrienne Dudek & Jacob Kaufman, Main Street Project
- Angelina Pelletier, Ndinawe
- Moderated by Kirsten Bernas