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Edmontonium

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Ok maybe some of my words too faisty. I just noticed some comments right away catching on "up north" as a racist thing even though I didn't have anything on my mind. I even didn't grow up in Canada. So I don't know some things but on the other hand I don't feel handicapped by all sensitivities regarding some topics.
So from my observation money doesn't solve the problem. Where I grew up, it was probably ten times poorer country at that time but we didn't have a homelessness issue the way North American cities have. The part I find problematic is the normalization of everything that is not normal. Some kind of social contract is breaking down. And social contract supposed to hold the line that we all are trying to be productive members of society or otherwise we feel societal pressure and negative consequences. By normalizing drug use, homelessness etc we basically are saying too bad but that's ok what you do, that's not your fault.
I find that logic problematic. I would rather say we have a social contract, or you try to be a productive member of society and we help you or we help you anyway even if you don't want that because we are also responsible for you because you are member of our society.
As people would get chance to at least think about their life after initial phase, they could find meaning of life. Many are empty lost souls. They need mentors, hobbies, belonging to some group. But instead of giving that we treat them as super individuals. Because that's "good" in our society. But, just maybe, belonging to a group and place is better than being a broken individual.
And I still stand by my words that current system doesn't work.
And if north is not good then let say some place in Nicaragua with surfing, ocean and palms etc might be good enough and would greatly cut costs. But I know you will tell me that's not possible because.. you believe social contract does not apply to individuals. Go figure:)
 

archited

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^^^^ You have just witnessed the enigma. It is not an easy nut to crack. The causes for homelessness are many and varied from the societal "dropout" experienced by war vets to the desperation of individuals hooked on pain-killer opioids to failures in the education system to class racism... the list is long and the symptoms are broad. It almost gets down to every case being separate and apart, one from the other. I get your idea of shipping people off to a remote area away from habitual influences, but there is a high rate of recidivism when cloistered individuals return to "normal" society and fall back into old habits. How do you combat hopelessness, despair, all-consuming anxiety, and various phobias? Every solution seems to have exceptions. The military needs to better recognize PTSD and develop care programs for its discharged warriors. The medical profession needs to be responsible for prescription abuse and care for those with chronic pain. The Psychiatric profession needs to better handle mental illnesses. And government needs to recognize that these endeavors need to be amply funded.
 

CplKlinger

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Ok maybe some of my words too faisty. I just noticed some comments right away catching on "up north" as a racist thing even though I didn't have anything on my mind. I even didn't grow up in Canada. So I don't know some things but on the other hand I don't feel handicapped by all sensitivities regarding some topics.
So from my observation money doesn't solve the problem. Where I grew up, it was probably ten times poorer country at that time but we didn't have a homelessness issue the way North American cities have. The part I find problematic is the normalization of everything that is not normal. Some kind of social contract is breaking down. And social contract supposed to hold the line that we all are trying to be productive members of society or otherwise we feel societal pressure and negative consequences. By normalizing drug use, homelessness etc we basically are saying too bad but that's ok what you do, that's not your fault.
I find that logic problematic. I would rather say we have a social contract, or you try to be a productive member of society and we help you or we help you anyway even if you don't want that because we are also responsible for you because you are member of our society.
As people would get chance to at least think about their life after initial phase, they could find meaning of life. Many are empty lost souls. They need mentors, hobbies, belonging to some group. But instead of giving that we treat them as super individuals. Because that's "good" in our society. But, just maybe, belonging to a group and place is better than being a broken individual.
And I still stand by my words that current system doesn't work.
And if north is not good then let say some place in Nicaragua with surfing, ocean and palms etc might be good enough and would greatly cut costs. But I know you will tell me that's not possible because.. you believe social contract does not apply to individuals. Go figure:)
First, I'm sorry that you got such a strong backlash to your comments when you did not understand why what you said would be so controversial. Colonialism is a very touchy subject here, and it sparks a lot of anger on both sides. I highly urge you, and everyone else who has not yet done so, to take the University of Alberta's free online course Indigenous Canada. And if you're in the Edmonton area, you should also spend some time at Fort Edmonton Park's exceptional Indigenous Peoples Experience.

I won't respond to any of your points this time, because none of those concerns apply to me. But since those feisty words you mentioned were directed at me, I just want to kindly point you to the edit in my last post, where I emphasize that you and I agree on a lot of things here. As I said there, and throughout my posts, I do not think that the status quo is acceptable, I do not think people should be able to use drugs everywhere, and I do not think that people who refuse treatment should be left to their own devices if they are causing issues in public.

All you and I disagree on is how best to start treatment; whether we first try supportive housing, or immediately start with the more extreme option of bringing them to rural treatment centres. So again, please keep that in mind if you ever want to talk more with me about solutions :)
 

CplKlinger

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Why did we move from saying "homeless" to "houselessness".

Are homes not important too?

We should be striving to create homes for all, not mere housing.
That's a very good question; it is not intended to distinguish between housing forms and homes. I first learned of the term 'houseless' from Mayor Sohi. He tweeted that he would start using that term instead of homeless at the request of some local Indigenous Peoples.

They argued that even when Indigenous Peoples are suffering from houselessness, the local area — Amiskwacî, which means Beaver Hills in Cree — is still their home. I guess it's just meant to help foster a sense of belonging for them (but I should note not an acceptance of their situations as acceptable to remain in), so I started to use it too. I still tend to go between the two, but I remain aware of the connotations that the different terms have for a not-insignificant number of people in the region.

Some of you might think it just sounds performative, so please keep in mind that I did not bring it up until asked, and I'm not asking anyone else to switch terms either.
 

occidentalcapital

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That's a very good question; it is not intended to distinguish between housing forms and homes. I first learned of the term 'houseless' from Mayor Sohi. He tweeted that he would start using that term instead of homeless at the request of some local Indigenous Peoples.

They argued that even when Indigenous Peoples are suffering from houselessness, the local area — Amiskwacî, which means Beaver Hills in Cree — is still their home. I guess it's just meant to help foster a sense of belonging for them (but I should note not an acceptance of their situations as acceptable to remain in), so I started to use it too. I still tend to go between the two, but I remain aware of the connotations that the different terms have for a not-insignificant number of people in the region.

Some of you might think it just sounds performative, so please keep in mind that I did not bring it up until asked, and I'm not asking anyone else to switch terms either.
Hmmm. This is very problematic. It is definitely not more acceptable for indigenous people to be homeless than others because "the land is their home". If that is not soft-racism, I don't know what is.
 

CplKlinger

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Hmmm. This is very problematic. It is definitely not more acceptable for indigenous people to be homeless than others because "the land is their home". If that is not soft-racism, I don't know what is.
You're misunderstanding it. It's not saying that it's more acceptable for them to be homeless. Keep in mind, I said this in my post: "I should note not an acceptance of their situations as acceptable to remain in". Around five percent of our population is Indigenous, but Indigenous Peoples make up around half of our houseless population [source].This is unacceptable of course, and it is rooted in the racist and genocidal policies that Canada implemented since it was a country, and that it continues to implement to a certain extent.

Since one founding myth of Canada, and a major justification for its genocide, was that Indigenous Peoples had no connection or claims to the land, and it was meant for settlers to use, using the term 'houseless' is one small way of reaffirming to those Indigenous Peoples suffering from houselessness that they *do* belong here, and they still have a home here even if they do not currently have a house. That does *not* mean they don't need to be housed — to the contrary, helping Indigenous Peoples leave houselessness can be an important part of reconciliation, by breaking those cycles of generational trauma. However, there is more to a home than just a house. A home can include family and friends, community connections, medical and psychological supports that one can trust. It's a reminder that even when they're houseless, they don't have to be alone; it does not mean that they are fine where they are. And it's also a recognition that local First Nations and Metis have a special connection with the land compared to non-Indigenous cultures; the land itself is sacred for them, and it is on this land that they connect with their ancestors and their traditional ways of life.

I promise you, I would never try to justify or defend houselessness as an acceptable way of living. And I try very hard to be aware of my biases as someone who is not Indigenous. I have taken courses about Indigenous histories and politics, spoken with elders, and friends who are Indigenous, and I try to encourage my family and friends to try to learn as well.

I am not perfect, and I do not claim to be. I have many areas of ignorance, and many unconscious biases. So, I always try to listen, and learn from Indigenous Peoples who speak about things from their perspectives. This listening is exactly why I adopted the term houseless. It was requested by some Indigenous Peoples in the area, their reasons sounded logical, and that was enough for me. Indigenous Peoples are not a monolith, and I'm sure there are some in thr area who disagree with this. But until I hear one of them speak out, I have no way of taking their points of view into account; so, I will listen to the former group.
 
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kcantor

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She has enough time to try to quash Qualico's project here or propose spending $2.5M for a camp for 60 homeless people for 3 months...
to be fair, "That's not a wise investment of our funds," Stevenson said. "That level of investment for three months for what is in any measure not a preferred solution or outcome, doesn't seem to make a lot of sense."

although this isn’t the thread for it:

$2.1 million for 3 months. $700,000 per month. for 60 individuals. just under $12,000 per person per month. at the end of which we will have accomplished nothing.

if this doesn’t drive home the real financial and social costs of homelessness, i don’t know what will. because it’s my guess that doesn’t come close to the direct and indirect costs we’re collectively paying already.
 

kcantor

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That's roughly $140.000 per year per homeless person.
medical costs alone were estimated to be $72 444 per person per year for transiently homeless people to $134 642 per year for chronically homeless people for calgary in 2006. they’re probably similar similar in edmonton and likely quite a bit higher in 2022. these are direct costs, not indirect costs including longer response times and longer wait times, policing and justice system costs, increased maintenance and insurance costs for the public and private sector, theft, lost work by victims, lost business costs etc. https://www.cmajopen.ca/content/5/3/E576
 

kcantor

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for perspective, if a homeless person does cost the system $140,000 a year and the average tax rate is 35% it will take $400,000 in salary to generate that much tax revenue. at the average salary for edmonton, that’s the total income of 7 people. if there are 4,000 homeless people in edmonton, that’s 28,000 taxpayers whose taxes do nothing but cover the cost of homelessness - approximately 14% of our total work force. i know this is an oversimplification of a complex issue but what we are [not] doing is literally costing us a fortune already.
 

The_Cat

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I think we all agree that any kind of transitional supports for the homeless yield great benefits, and are cheaper than letting people fend for themselves on the street.
 

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