North

Homeless woman plans Iqaluit protest

A woman in Iqaluit who's had to resort to sleeping in an abandoned car for shelter is planning a protest to raise awareness about homelessness in the community.

A woman in Iqaluit who's had to resort to sleeping in an abandoned car for shelter is planning a protest to raise awareness about homelessness in the community.

Pudloo Chouinard, who's originally from Arctic Bay, says she has tried just about everything to get a home since she moved to the territory's capital four years ago.

When she arrived she lived with her boyfriend, but after he left town, she had nowhere to stay.

Chouinard has been homeless since.

Recently she slept in an abandoned car for two nights, even though temperatures had dropped to -50C.

Chouinard says she has applied for public housing but she's at the bottom of a long waiting list, because she is single and has no children. Social workers and Nunavut Tunngavik, the territory's land claim organization, haven't been able to help either.

There's a homeless shelter for men in Iqaluit, but no facility for women. The women's shelter can occassionally take in homeless women, but its first priority is to help women in abusive situations.

Chouinard wants all levels of government, Inuit organizations, and the public to know how difficult it is for a person to be homeless, especially in the Arctic.

She plans to protest along with other homeless people near Northmart next Monday afternoon.

(with notes from Salome Awa)