Audio

Sudbury not doing enough to help homeless, coalition says

The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty has called on city council to do more to help the homeless.
An image from a report on homelessness that CBC News filed last year. A makeshift home in the bush is located beside the downtown railway tracks in Sudbury. A member of the Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty says some Sudburians are taking in strangers who would otherwise be out on the street. (Kate Rutherford)

The Sudbury Coalition Against Poverty has called on city council to do more to help the homeless.

Among other suggestions at a meeting on Monday, the group wants the city to fund an overnight shelter through the winter.

Coalition member Anna Harbulik said some Sudburians are taking in strangers who would otherwise be out on the street.

"The city is not meeting its responsibility to the homeless,” she said.

“The city has downloaded dealing with helping the homeless onto other people living in poverty."

The group is also pushing for permanent funding for a program that helps people pay rent and buy furniture, thereby keeping them off the street.

Some city councillors pointed out that Greater Sudbury already spends more on homelessness than it’s required to, considering that it’s technically a federal responsibility.

However Coun. Claude Berthiaume wondered why only certain city departments are allowed to run over budget.

"Now, why is it when we're dealing with people, with individuals, with people's lives, that we cannot, we don't even accept that we might go over budget on that?"

Staff members are set to report back to council next month on several poverty issues. The report will cover the possibility of an overnight shelter being open all winter, as well as a so-called wet shelter where alcohol is allowed.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.