Home » Councillor Anderson, Terwillegar, and Elevating the Plan to End Homelessness

Councillor Anderson, Terwillegar, and Elevating the Plan to End Homelessness

Simons: Homeless-housing project has Terwillegar Towne in an uproar

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I appreciate that Councillor Anderson is eager to support a housing development that can put a roof over the heads of some families in need. However, I question the wisdom using such a project as leverage to oppose the plan to end homelessness which he and his Council colleagues have so strongly supported.

Might I suggest that the Councillor instead look at one of our mature communities such as Canora (home to JP health and wellness). A community which has lost children and families. A community which houses it’s fair share of our city’s and even our province’s socio-economic issues. A community which would no doubt welcome a multi-unit to house families in need, which could help to preserve mature neighbourhood community schools. t

Or perhaps this mature neighbourhood resident should simply sit back an accept that city-vision of some Councillors has a blind spot, in need of a political ophthalmologist. That blind spot being the centre of what could well become a donut city. A city that spends millions on infrastructure for downtown catalyst projects, but lacks the will to stand up for the communities which have grown over the past century around downtown.

Like or dislike JP Health and Wellness’s proposal, they’ve done an impressive thing here. They’ve taken a step to provide those in need of help with support options outside the core communities where so many addictions and issues have been fed. They’ve taken a step to provide families and those in need with a housing option in a part of the city that could not only help to provide a fresh-start, but help to keep those individuals nearly their family members who may well not live in the core.

Like or dislike JP Health and Wellness, they’ve forced us to talk about the future of our city.

Are we a donut city? Will we become one? A city of suburban enclaves; low-density communities short on amenities and welcome only to those who own a vehicle (a necessity to get anywhere) and their own home. A city which carries the weight of a large portion of Alberta’s social challenges, which then concentrates issues and troubled individuals in the downtown area and a number of specific core communities.

Donuts are bad for you, and our city deserves better. The plan to end homelessness doesn’t need another project in the same neighbourhoods. It needs a mix of solutions across the city. It needs communities to accept that they have a responsibility to accept some of our social issues. It needs Councillors who believe in building communities, near the core or elsewhere, that aren’t enclaves for those who can afford to buy a home and a car or two.

To suggest that a subsidized project in Terwillegar for families would be preferable is absurd and a slap to the face of our core communities. The same issues regarding the lack of local amenities and transit options would still apply, and the change would serve only to calm the nerves of reactionary individuals. I also doubt that they’d find a project proponent as committed as JP Health and Wellness is to addressing these issues.

Consider giving your support to the project Councillor Anderson. Council does have power here, and it should go into providing the amenities that a diversity of housing options and demographics require in all corners of the city. In the meantime Councillor, if you want to focus on famility-friendly housing options, consider putting some of that energy into supporting family-friendly development in mature communities. Unless that donut thing sounds good to you. Then fight against this, and our own visionary documents such as the Elevate report and the plan to end homelessness..

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