Archive for the ‘Homelessness is a national disgrace’ Category

Homelessness is a national disgrace

August 24, 2008

Commentary by Sue Clark-Wittenberg

Why are there so many people in Canada homeless like Fred Timms? The governments do not put enough money into affordable housing and the housing that is funded in many times is not administered the right way.

In Fred’s case the administrators at Ottawa Community Housing lacked a vision with pertaining to such problems as how to deal with hoarding issues and how to assist someone with those issues and support them rather than throwing them to the curb which has happened. Evicting Fred has given Fred more problems that he had when he was housed with Ottawa Housing i.e. nowhere to live, feeling of insecurity, more depression, anxiety, feelings of hopelessness at times.

Canada is wealthy country and yet we have homeless people dying on our city streets in the winter, the homeless shelters in the winter are often filled to capacity, and the governments in many cases turns a blind eye to the most vulnerable people in our society.

I was homeless in Ottawa and Toronto and lived in homeless shelters for a time. Shelters are only a band aid solution to peoples’ real need of having their own home.

Fred is very courageous to stand up to Ottawa Housing. He has been treated unfairly and he says he will fight as long as it takes. Way to go Fred! Fred has a strong spirit and he is angry at how he has been treated.

Fred is a gentleman and kind. After 5 months of being homeless, he has retained his dignity and self respect and his pride. Ottawa Housing could not take that away from him.

He is a very intelligent man and knows what he wants and can articulate that very well. I believe few people will ever forget Fred Timms’ name. He is warrior in his own right, one to be commended for surviving Ottawa’s Housing’s unethical and uncaring attitude towards him. He is a strong person with lots of fight left in him yet.

Don’t under estimate Fred, he says it the way it is and knows what to do to get his housing. It won’t be long until Fred is housed. You can bet on it!