Why Homeless People Don’t Use Shelters

Written by Kylyssa from Overlooking a meadow near Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA.

A Squidoo transplant, Kylyssa Shay is a soft-hearted, hard-headed, tough-as-nails nail-biter.  She’s full of hyphens except in her name. An activist, atheist, and artist, Ms. Shay enjoys writing science fiction, sculpting in a bizarre variety of media, painting, cooking, drawing, and tinkering.

Her favorite activity is experimentation. Items found cooking on the stove in her home may not be edible. Don’t sniff the Buckyballs.

Nicknamed “Aunt MacGyver” by an assortment of children, teens, and adults of various ages, she is known for pulling off strange, spur-of-the-moment repairs which are often quite effective.


Why Homeless People Don’t Use Shelters

When there are homeless shelters why do homeless people sleep outside?

I spent a lot of the time when I was homeless sleeping “in the rough” which is another way of saying outdoors. I’ve been asked a lot of times why I didn’t just stay in homeless shelters. The two answers many homed people often give as to why homeless people don’t use shelters is that either such people are drug users and drug use is against homeless shelter rules or that some people refuse to follow rules pertaining to check in and checkout.

The issue is pretty complex, but no, I was neither using drugs nor too defiant to obey the rules. I’d like to give my reasons for sleeping in the rough and also some of the reasons I’ve seen others avoid shelters while exposing some common homeless shelter dangers. Some of these reasons might surprise you. I know I was shocked to discover a few myself.

photo by Miguel Saavedra

Please, keep in mind that not all shelters have all or even any of these down sides. Some have none of them. These are the things many homeless people who don’t use them anymore have experienced at some facilities in the U.S. which may have caused them to later avoid using shelters. There are good ones out there, too. They can just be hard to find sometimes.

Please Read First

As someone who has worked in homeless shelters I am very aware that the vast majority of homeless shelter workers are good people who are doing their best. I am glad that homeless shelters exist to help people without homes. However, it would be an injustice to pretend that homeless shelters in America are plentiful enough or that all of those shelters that exist are safe enough, or free from downsides.

photo of a louse by Dr. Dennis D. Juranek
photo of a louse by Dr. Dennis D. Juranek

Fear of Contracting Parasites

A little added something no one wants

No matter how clean a facility is kept, the danger of getting parasites by using it is still very high. Mind you, this is not the fault of staff or organizations running shelters it is simply a hazard of having sleeping arrangements that hundreds of people cycle through; bedbugs are now even fairly common in high end hotels. Homeless people tend to carry a lot of parasites, likely because they tend to sleep in lots of different places. So if you sleep every night in a different bed that a long string of other people have slept in or sleep too close to an ever-changing assortmenty of people , eventually you are bound to get head lice, pubic lice or scabies. It’s hard as heck to get rid of parasites when you have no home.

Bedbugs are a biting parasite that can easily infest a bedroll, backpack, clothes, or other possessions. Homeless people don’t want to infest the homes of people who give them a place to stay for the night or to bring bedbugs to work with them. Volunteers and employees also need to take precautions to avoid bringing bedbugs home with them.

The parasites commonly present in homeless shelters were my second most important reason for avoiding them. I’m itching right now just thinking about it.

From the Mouths of Babes

Compelling photographs and unfiltered words from children living in deep poverty and on the streets tell the real story of living without housing.

Lives Turned Upside Down: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs
Lives Turned Upside Down: Homeless Children in Their Own Words and Photographs

Before you form an opinion on homeless people, I highly recommend reading this book. Children speak without the filters adults use most of the time. The honesty in their words is powerful.

photo taken by Yousuf Karsh and uploaded by Skeezix1000
photo taken by Yousuf Karsh and uploaded by Skeezix1000

Hours of Operation Incompatible with Work Hours

Homeless shelters operate on rigid schedules… So do jobs!

Contrary to popular belief, many homeless people have jobs. Because check-in hours for shelters are often rigid and the process of waiting in line and checking in usually takes hours, many working poor cannot use them. Others work evening or night hours which don’t allow them to get inside before curfew. People who work from nine to five usually can’t use them, either; by the time they get off work, it’s usually too late for them to get in line to check into a shelter.

Another reason some homeless shelters are incompatible with having a job is that they require people to attend AA or other drug abuse rehab classes (often held during normal work hours) every day or most days they use the shelter – whether those people have a drug or alcohol problem or not. Others require those who use their services to take rudimentary job skill classes or other life-skill classes during business hours even if employed and already well-educated on the topics.

By the time I had a regular job, I had decided to sleep outside exclusively so this was not a problem for me.

photo by Sanja Gjenero, SXC
photo by Sanja Gjenero, SXC

Danger of Rape or Assault

Homeless shelters and the areas around them are often hunting grounds for human predators. Some very few of the craftier ones get jobs at the charities while most others just watch for individuals departing in the morning or arriving in the evening. It’s not just rapists, either. Predators in search of “excitement” will track a lone person leaving a shelter so they can beat him or harass him for fun.

Also, although there are usually attendants of some kind on watch almost none of them are trained to deal with violent behavior making users vulnerable to other who are predators. Volunteer workers honestly cannot be expected to put themselves in the sort of danger intervening in such situations creates. Nor can they have eyes on the back of their heads or keep watch over everyone. Lack of sufficient staffing is common and people can only do so much.

For me, this was the number one reason to avoid them. Once you get raped or assaulted in a homeless shelter or because you were trailed after leaving one you just don’t want to try it again no matter how hot or cold or rainy or otherwise unpleasant it is outside.

Criminals are well aware that police take seldom complaints from people without homes seriously. Many people avoid shelters because pretending to not be homeless (which means avoiding shelters, missions, and soup kitchens) is one of the most effective ways to avoid such predators.

40% of homeless teens and youth identify as LGBT and often don’t use shelters because many of them, like the parents who discarded them, discriminate against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people.

photo by Andrzej PobiedziÃski, SXC
photo by Andrzej PobiedziÃski, SXC

Fear of Contracting Disease

Diseases spread easily in close quarters

One reason it’s hard to fall asleep in a homeless shelter is the almost endless coughing. There’s always at least one person with a cough. Many of those with chronic coughs have chronic illnesses, transmissible diseases. Tuberculosis is frighteningly common among people living on the street. When you may have to sleep out in the elements on any given night (there’s no guarantee you’ll get into a shelter every night) even the flu can be a dangerous disease to contract.

Keep in mind that many people are homeless due to ill health or chronic illnesses and you’ll see why accommodations full of sick people pose an even greater risk to them.

photo by Craig Toron, SXC
photo by Craig Toron, SXC

Lack of Handicapped Accommodations

Disabilities make use difficult

While I was waiting to talk to someone about volunteering at an associated soup kitchen I was shocked to see someone turned away from a homeless shelter because he was in a wheelchair. Another person and I offered to pull his chair up the stairs and help him inside if he needed it. They told us it had to do with insurance concerns and said that they were sorry but, no, he couldn’t stay. That was the first time I saw a handicapped person turned away from a homeless shelter but sadly, it was not the last.

Many make use of old buildings re-purposed to fit a bunch of beds. Sometimes their beds are located above the first floor and they have no elevators. Some don’t have railings in the restrooms or ramps into the rooms or buildings either. While it is not the fault of those who run them some shelters are unable to accommodate people in wheelchairs.

Regardless of what the Americans with Disabilities Act says, some places that provide temporary housing turn away people who need wheelchairs or with other mobility limitations such as the need to use a walker or crutches to get around. While sometimes they will offer a hotel voucher to the disabled person that doesn’t always happen. Not every organization has the funds to do this and a shelter can get shut down if they break the rules. They truly don’t want to turn away disabled people but they may sometimes not have any choice.

An Invasive and Disrespectful Check in Process

Surrendering dignity and self-respect completely

This answer has gotten me a lot of flack. Even though it played only a minor part in my decision not to use shelters, I feel it is an important part.

The check in process in some but not all homeless shelters is sometimes humiliating and dehumanizing.

I was asked questions such as “Do you have any sexual partners you could stay with?” as well as other questions about my sex life on more than one occasion. One worker even suggested that I find a boyfriend to stay with; basically she was suggesting I exchange sexual favors for a place to sleep. Keep in mind that I, like most women homeless more than a few weeks, had already been the victim of sexual assault. It made me feel horrible, like I was less than a person and had nothing else to offer anyone.

photo by Lychee
photo by Lychee

Drug Addictions

Yes, some people avoid homeless shelters because of drug addictions- their own or those of other people.

Since many have signs insisting they are drug free zones, some drug users will avoid them. However, many drug users and dealers do not, making some of them hot spots of drug activity.

People frightened by drug related activity may come to avoid shelters because of this, quite reasonably fearing for their safety or their children’s safety. Still others are themselves trying to get off drugs and being around other users makes it very difficult for them to do so, so they avoid staying in them while trying to kick their drug or alcohol habits.

Separation of Family Members

Giving up family for a cot

This is a biggie and it’s pretty horrible when you think about it. Most homeless shelters separate families.

Women can bring their pre-teen children into most women’s shelters but teenage male children (as young as 13) may be required to go to a men’s shelter which they may not even get into. Can you imagine a mother leaving her young teenage son to sleep alone on the street without her protection while she sleeps inside? Most parents will not leave their children so the whole family sleeps in their car or outside.

Men and women usually cannot stay in the same place so husbands and wives are separated, knowing their spouse might not get a bed somewhere else. These people are often elderly or disabled and depend on each other for safety and care. So again, most of them will forgo the use of temporary emergency housing so they can take care of each other.

Also, children cannot stay in the vast majority of men’s homeless shelters. This leaves single fathers in a very difficult spot. This seems not only heartbreaking but criminal. While some may say the children should just be taken away, the situation is usually temporary and the loss of a parent or parents will probably affect a child more deeply than a month or so living with insecurity and discomfort.

photo by Betta5, SXC
photo by Betta5, SXC

Some Service Dogs are Barred from Entry

Giving up faithful assistance

Service dogs other than Seeing Eye dogs and hearing assistance dogs are sometimes denied entry to homeless shelters. Mobility dogs (dogs that help you stand or get into your wheelchair, assist you up stairs, etc), dogs that provide assistance for mental conditions such as anxiety or agoraphobia, and other service dogs are even more often denied entry.

People frequently lose their own identification papers, often through no fault of their own, so it is no surprise that they often lose identification papers for their service animals. Even in the case of Seeing Eye dogs and hearing assistance dogs, if the person has lost the dog’s paperwork or doesn’t have an official harness, the dog will not be allowed inside. Few people in that situation will abandon a service dog.

While it is perfectly understandable that facilities will not allow animals in that may possibly not be service animals it’s also perfectly understandable that disabled people would not be willing to part with a service animal that increases their ability to function especially at the risk of having that animal die from exposure or get lost or stolen. Many people who rely on them for independence and safety are unwilling to be separated from them for any reason.

photo by Christer Rønning Austad, SXC
photo by Christer Rønning Austad, SXC

Staff Assumptions about Drug Use and Criminality

You are guilty even if you are innocent

While it was not often said aloud, many shelter employees and volunteers regard all people who need their services as drug addicts and criminals. To avoid being perceived as addicts and criminals, many people avoid using those services to also avoid job discrimination.

When you are homeless, many people will automatically treat you as a criminal and a drug user. Many people are unable to comprehend that a person without a home may just be someone down on his or her luck without any wrongdoing on his or her part.

While I’m sure they mean well, many shelters and their employees or volunteers take it upon themselves to cure people of their sometimes non-existent addictions and criminal ways. Some put a lot of pressure on people who use them to attend alcohol and drug abuse counseling even if they are not alcohol or drug abusers.

I remember the smirks and questioning looks when I insisted I had no drug or alcohol abuse issues. One employee actually asked me, “Well, then, why are you so skinny?”

Forced participation in substance abuse counseling even for non-abusers takes time away from job searches and current employment which the average person in such a situation cannot afford, causing most employed homeless people and those actively seeking employment to avoid shelters that require it.

photo by Asif Akbar, SXC
photo by Asif Akbar, SXC

Danger of Theft

No protection from thieves

While most homeless people are not thieves, a few of them are. It only takes one to spoil it for everyone else. When you have no home, your little bit of stuff is precious; it’s all you have.

While I was not robbed inside a shelter, I heard stories from many who were. They stopped using them to protect their few meager possessions from theft.

Shoes are among the most commonly stolen items. Foot care is incredibly important and the loss of your only pair of shoes can be life-threatening. It can also be extremely difficult to replace them if they get stolen.

image by Aerobird, released to the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
image by Aerobird, released to the public domain, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Religious Differences

Acting like you share a religious belief for a place to sleep

Most shelters and kitchens have some sort of religious service people are required to sit through to eat or sleep there. I’m an atheist but this didn’t bother me much. Frankly, I was pleased to be in a climate controlled room and sitting at rest somewhere without fear of getting harassed by gangs or police no matter what I had to pretend to believe. It didn’t even bother me that I had to give lip-service to the notion that I was being punished by God for being a bad person.

However, some people object to this, often people with strong religious beliefs of their own who believe they already have a good relationship with God. I’ve met a decent number of people unwilling to sit through the services and pretend their situation is a just punishment from God for being a terrible person. Very religious people seem to get extremely offended when someone looks down on them and tells them they don’t have a good enough relationship with Jesus to deserve a place to live.

Do We Need More, Better Homeless Shelters and Help for Existent Ones?

Do we need to build more homeless shelters and help the ones that already exist?

  • Yes, but not in my neighborhood.
  • Yes
  • No
  • Other, I’ll explain in the guestbook.

See results without voting

photo by Griszka Niewiadomski, SXC
photo by Griszka Niewiadomski, SXC

Lack of Privacy and Fear of Crowds

Many homed people would argue that people who are down on their luck are not deserving of privacy. However, the complete lack of privacy can be especially hard on people with mental disorders that make them fear crowds. I encountered several crowd phobic people who could not be convinced to use a homeless shelter even though they were sickly and ill suited to outdoor sleeping even when the weather was good.

Deserving of privacy or not, people with mental illnesses that cause a fear of crowds or even a fear of a moderate number of people packed into close quarters are genuinely terrified of such conditions even in the safest of circumstances.

Charities understandably try to make the most of their square footage by squeezing as many beds into their facility as possible. Unfortunately, that can make them frightening to people with ptsd, claustrophobia, social anxiety, or fear of crowds.

Lack of Control

Exchanging freedom for shelter

By the time a person is on the street his or her life is usually already careening out of control. That feeling can be enhanced by the regimented check in times, eating times, prayer times, sleep times, and check out times in a homeless shelter. Some people avoid them so they can feel like they have some vestige of control over their own lives.

photo by Xfigpower
photo by Xfigpower

Lack of Nonthreatening Rules for Accommodating Disabled Individuals

Giving up the ability to get around in a strange place

Walkers, crutches, and canes are sometimes taken from users at some organizations at check in. Sometimes even appliances such as leg braces are also taken away for “safe keeping.” While I can understand that the danger of theft is very real and that some people who are mentally ill might hit people with their crutches, braces, or walkers, it is frightening to be left without your mobility in a strange place. So some people who have need of medical appliances or mobility assisting devices forgo the use of homeless shelters.

And the #1 Reason Homeless People Don’t Use Shelters- Lack of Available Beds

There is not enough shelter for everyone

No matter how many people choose not to use them there are still not nearly enough beds available for those who would like to sleep indoors despite the risks involved.

In most cities in America there’s space in homeless shelters for less than 25% of the homeless people living in that city. In other cities there is only enough room in shelters for less than 5% of their homeless population. There’s not enough funding to provide beds for every homeless person in America.

Additionally, many areas in America have made ordinances limiting the number of people a charity may serve. In some cities,they may not provide beds for more than 20 people! Additionally, some cities have created ordinances preventing them from being in or near the downtown area (where the churches and other organizations likely to provide such services are most likely to own property) or laws preventing two homeless shelters from being within a certain distance of each other.

These reasons are at least part of why lines to get in form so early in the day and why staff is often so quick to deny entry to people for the most trivial of reasons. This may be why some facilities have made their requirements for use so restrictive. In fact, some of them have made their requirements so strict that, in some cases and despite a line of a hundred people trying to get a place to sleep, they don’t even fill the number of beds they have.

In my opinion, the ordinances are a bigger issue than the lack of funding because the ordinances have prevented people with funding from opening or expanding existing homeless shelters. So what you can do about it is find out what your local laws regarding homeless shelters are and write to your congressmen and representatives as well as donating to local charities and helping to fund new ones.”

Pleas go and red the great comments from folks at original site…


“Denied Entry Due to Mental Illness

Some people are denied entry due to mental illness even if caregivers have given them paperwork stating that they are not a danger to themselves or others.

Since most workers and volunteers are not trained to distinguish between violent criminals and harmless people with mental illnesses the tendency is to be overly cautious and refuse anyone with any mental health issues entry at some (but thankfully not all) shelters. Workers and organizations cannot be blamed for being ill-equipped to handle mentally ill clients because they simply don’t have the resources to train volunteers or workers.

photo by Beverly Lussier
photo by Beverly Lussier

No Pets Allowed

Trading faithful companionship for somewhere legal to sleep

Think about your family dog, the one you’ve loved for years who is a member of your family. Now imagine that you become homeless and all you have left of your old life is that faithful, lifetime companion. He is your only source of affection and companionship. Could you abandon him without a second thought?

Pets are usually not allowed into homeless shelters so their owners often choose to sleep outside with the only friends who haven’t deserted them, their pets.

Would You Be Reluctant to Use a Homeless Shelter?

There are not nearly enough homeless shelters and many of them that exist are too hazardous or, more often, too regulation bound to be effective in providing safe haven from the elements.

The fact of the matter is that almost no one is immune from the possibility of homelessness. In many cases all it takes is one personal catastrophe to put a person or family on the street. Homeless people are just like you and me.

After reading this lens and getting some more information on the dangers and indignities you could face if you use a homeless shelter, do you understand why many people without traditional housing avoid using them? If you wouldn’t use a homeless shelter you can hardly expect homeless people to. I hope you will share this distressing information and help others see why things need to change.”

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Social Housing flying Squads!

shared from Vancouver’s SOcial Housing Alliance Web:


The Flying Squad

(starting with the most recent action)

Photo of Social Housing Coalition Flying Squad outside of Adrian Dix's Campaign office on May 3rd, 2013

Social housing flying squad report #14
Flying squad outside Adrian Dix’s Campaign Office
Friday, May 3rd, 2013

It takes courage to make change: Activists challenge BC NDP to end homelessness and poverty
By Ivan Drury

View more photos here

UNCEDED COAST SALISH TERRITORY: On Friday May 3rd a group of 16 housing and welfare activists visited BC NDP leader Adrian Dix’s campaign office. The rally, co-organized by Raise the Rates and the Social Housing Coalition BC, called on the NDP to revise their election program to end the crises of homelessness and poverty in BC.

Bill Hopwood, organizer with Raise the Rates, said, “The NDP platform on inequality and welfare is like going to a doctor and getting diagnosed with cancer but only getting prescribed aspirin.” He spoke on the sidewalk outside the NDP office, cars going by on Kingsway interrupted him honking their support for the slogans on the protest banners.

“A person on disability in BC still gets $662 less a month than a person on disability in Alberta. The NDP platform does not promise to change that,” Hopwood said. “Dix promises to lift 8,000 kids out of poverty; which is great for those kids, but there are 100,000 more children still living in poverty.”

Dave Diewert, an activist with the Social Housing Coalition BC, explained how the NDP’s housing platform lets down people facing homelessness. “Partnering with the private sector is the problem, not the solution to the housing crisis. When you build for profit you don’t build the homes people need, you just build the homes people will buy,” Diewert said. “We need homes for more than 100,000 people facing homelessness. Not only will the NDP plan not build those homes, it could cause housing losses and more displacement.”

Photo of Social Housing Coalition Flying Squad inside Adrian Dix's Campaign office on May 3rd, 2013

Alexandra Henao, with the Agricultural Workers’ Alliance and the Social Housing Coalition, said that thousands of agricultural workers are dropped into this housing crisis every year and need support from the NDP. “Temporary migrant workers come for eight months and live isolated from other workers and communities. They pay rent for typically a two-bedroom place for 12 guys and work 6–7 days a week, 12-hours a day and they don’t have the right to speak out,” she said. “Migrant workers are isolated in farm-housing and invisible to peoples’ eyes and also to those who make decisions, we need to defend their right to be in this society and not at the mercy of the politicians.“

We were surprised that the only media that turned out for our action in front of Dix’s office was Fairchild TV. Their absence had us feeling we were there representing the people in BC no one wants to hear about. It was like we were making Liberals nervous because our rally is proof that their stories about the radical socialist NDP are lies. And like we were making the NDP nervous because we’re raising the issues their members support but their leaders won’t act on. We could really feel that if no one will speak for working and low-income people then we have to speak for ourselves.

Chanting, “tax the rich to house the poor! Social housing now!” the demonstrators marched into the NDP campaign office with their banners held aloft. Five NDP staffers and volunteers were in the office working on Dix’s campaign and the protesters directed their message to them, asking them to advocate to Dix for action.

Fraser Stuart, a Downtown Eastside resident on welfare, said, “A $20 increase in welfare is an insult, not a rate increase. It won’t do anything to help low-income people.” Pearly May, a member of the DTES Power of Women Group, said, “I am an Aboriginal woman and a single mom and I know what it is to be discriminated against when I need housing. The landlords just tell you there’s nothing available, everywhere you go. Indigenous people can’t afford to wait any longer for the housing that we need.”

Photo of Social Housing Coalition Flying Squad inside Adrian Dix's Campaign office on May 3rd, 2013

And Charlene, steering committee member of the Social Housing Coalition, said, “Our communities want good health, and to get it we need good housing and enough to live on. Unfortunately it does not look like the NDP is prepared to make a difference.”

The NDP staffers and volunteers responded hesitantly: One said, “we know there’s a problem and this doesn’t do much, but we’re standing behind our platform.” Another said, “Our program is a start, it’s better than nothing.” Their reasoning was similar to one NDP supporter who stopped to chat with the protesters outside. He said, “You guys are right that there’s a housing crisis and no one is taking it seriously. I understand why you’re frustrated. But be patient and trust that Adrian is a good guy and will help you when he gets in. The task now is to get him in.”

Herb Varley, Nuu’chah’nulth and Nisga’a member of the Social Housing Coalition, didn’t accept the wait-and-see approach. “The NDP says it will make change one step at a time but I don’t buy it. The Liberals didn’t hesitate to cut taxes for the rich or social programs for the poor, they did it in one foul swoop.“

Varley challenged the NDP to support people most in need, “It takes courage to make change and there’s no courage in the NDP platform.”
Bill Hopwood summed up, “Our final message to the NDP is that our campaign really begins on May 15. Our pressure to get the NDP to end homelessness and poverty in BC is just beginning.”

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Coleman responds to Social Housing CoalitionDemands


Shared from Social Housing Alliance Website:’http://www.socialhousingbc.com/2013/02/05/coleman-responds-to-the-coalitions-news-conference/

On Monday, February 4th, 2013, the Social Housing Coalition held a press conference to demand 10,000 units of social housing per year for the over 100,000 homeless and under-housed in BC.

Kelvin Bee (Kwakwaka’wakw elder with Aboriginal Front Door Society) acknowledged that we were speaking on Unceded Coast Salish territory: Musqueum, Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish nations, and then opened the conference. Speakers included Tami Starlight (Peguis Cree, DTES Neighbourhood Council board member and anti-oppression activist), Ellen Woodsworth (Former Vancouver city councilor with COPE and current organizer with Women Transforming Cities), Karen Ward (Gallery Gachet),Jean Swanson (Carnegie Community Action Project, CCAP), Lorelei Williams (Aboriginal Front Door Society), Doug Swan (ACORN Canada), Kim Hearty (Vancouver Renters’ Union), and Sozan Savehilag(No One Is Illegal).

Rich Coleman, BC’s minister responsible for Housing, responded to the Coalition’s demands (see below). Here’s the media coverage:

And also:
Crisis group wants 10,000 social housing units built per year
By Kevin Griffin, The Province • February 5, 2013

Here’s the full NEWS 1130 coverage:
Social housing challenge is unrealistic:
Coleman Says true numbers are higher than Social Housing Coalition BC claims

by Dave White, NEWS 1130 • February 5, 2013

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – BC’s housing minister says a coalition’s challenge to see him commit to 10,000 new social housing units a year is unrealistic.

Rich Coleman says it’s an idea that could cost billions of dollars.

Social Housing Coalition BC issued the challenge yesterday, admitting it would cost $2 billion a year, but adding that the province is in a crisis with 100,000 people homeless or close to it. Coleman isn’t sold.

“It’s about a $3-billion capital cost and would probably cost you half a billion a year to operate,” he argues. “It’s certainly not part of our platform or program and I haven’t heard from the opposition whether it’s theirs or not.“

“It… isn’t realistic and… it blew through my desk as just a comment from somebody on the Downtown Eastside, I think it was Jean Swanson, and we havenrsquo;t done enough analysis on it,” adds Coleman. “Jean is a member of the NDP but I think she has her own notions on this.”

Coleman tells us itrsquo;s challenging to get projects going when you consider public consultation, funding plans, and construction. He adds the province has increased the BC Housing Budget by $400 million a year in the last six years, just to add a dozen new social housing developments.

Today, he announced 100 interim units have been secured at a former Howard Johnson Hotel on Kingsway for those transitioning out of homelessness.

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Congrats To David Tat!

Congratulations David Tat., long time member of the Committee To End Homelessness Victoria, the original group which formed.   We are all so thrilled for you getting voted onto the Greater Victoria Coalition To End Homelessness Leadership Council aka the board!  We are all proud of you and know that you will represent!  Good work friend!  You ahve been thru a lot and have a lot to offer.

DAvid Tat and Kym

DAvid Tat and Kym

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Project Connect and Bicycle Lee.

Project Connect happened at Our Place yesterday, was great to see so many folks once again volunteer their time to our homeless and poor.  The line up for food was back to Conservatory when I arrived, they were busy most of day.

Project Connect Our Place.

Project Connect Our Place.

IMG_1636 IMG_1637

From flu shots to scarves and touques, folks were lining up.  Great to hang ot with front line organisations and network.

I even saw a visiting mom and her child, don’t see children much anymore, since 19 and under are not allowed into Our Place.  I often wonder why they do not advertise this to the general public?  Our Place is no longer for families.  This was one of the rules that changed right after Reverend Allen Tysick left Our Place.

I don’t want to be a bummer though so, I’ll keep going here.

Was happy to see Bob Boyd and David Tat, Bob seems well and David goes to his first Leadership Meeting at GVCTEH next week.  Excited for him and all he can bring.


DAvid Tat and Kym

DAvid Tat and Kym

I got picked up by my Mary, thank goodness as my bike was out of commission due to both brakes being broken, not to mention some other repairs needed.  I was happy to come home and find Bicycle Lee and Mary hanging out on back porch, a sight for sore eyes.

fixing brakes

fixing brakes

Lee fixed front brakes and I will see him end of week for back brakes, thanks so much Lee, you saved me, I can go and do Times Colonialist Extra Extra this thursday!

I love my community, thanks everyone for lending a hand and reaching out with love and care.

kym hothead

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DangLiNG Carrots update: Albert Gerow, What’s up?

“Pipeline chief Albert Gerow won’t answer Burns Lake Band questions” (http://www.straight.com/news/553961/pipeline-chief-albert-gerow-wont-answer-burns-lake-band-questions)

Now, first nations youth who HAD been receiving grants are experiencing a 25% cut to grant moneys, want to know where that moneys are going?

Go to: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LiVeCoWfUo

Its my DangLiNG Carrots youtube video.

“I accidentally came upon this press release for LNG at the Legislature April 29th. I am sure Albert Gerow was on those stairs, maybe even Phil Fontaine?
Sell outs for Oil and Gas, sad shame since that industry is dead and dying and on its way out. Its a new day of alternative living and healthy life, these folks are the ones we are still educating and waking up!
I saw suits and loads of people on stairs including youth of colour, I know they hand picked this group, I felt for them all, so I went and turned on camera, here is what I saw and heard.

TradeRoute Mobile Training Unit! (Mobile LIARS courtesy LNG , government etc!)
This disgusted me, it was, to me, a big LNG Government “love in” full of lies!”

I was unable to catch it all but, I caught enough on film to know how disgusting this all is!

One can go and check out Camosun College and see how they CUT the 2nd year Geography program completely!  What or whom are they making room for in their budget/itinerary?  None other than LNG ie: Tech trades involved in Fracking, just what we wanted right? Wrong!

I found this sticker on this monument for the worlds tallest totem pole, up at Dallas Road in Beacon Hill park.

IMG_1069 IMG_1071

Speak OUT and Stand up!  Lets get the word out that our students are under attack, our very future is under attack.  I know of a fourth year herbalist student from Ft. Chippewa area who did not get the usual grant money she was told to expect.  SOmeone let her know that they cut 25%  to go elsewhere, and guess where?  Argh!

An herbalist gets cut for fracking tech!!!!
How messed is that Canada!  Pretty messed in this day and age!

We got healing to do and what does Harper and neo cons alike do?

Hey reporters, cover this one maybe?  You can use a fake name and we’ll get it out for you!

In the 2013 Straights article :

“Gerow is stepping down on December 31. He has accepted a job with TransCanada Pipelines Limited, according to a report by the Burns Lake District News. TransCanada wants to build the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta to the U.S.

In May of this year, Gerow endorsed exploration work for another pipeline project, Enbridge Inc.’s Northern Gateway, which his wife’s political party opposes. (That pipeline was recommended for federal approval by the Joint Review Panel on December 19.)
“He never discussed his resignation nor his job that he took with TransCanada,” Charlie said.
Charlie and 12 other members and nonmembers of the band were sued for defamation by Gerow and two others.
Former band councillor Ryan Tibbetts, a lawsuit defendant, attended the December 17 meeting. Tibbetts said that an explanation from Gerow at that meeting of his decision not to finish his term would have been a “common sense thing to do”.
“But he didn’t even do that,” Tibbetts said by phone.
Gerow did not respond to requests from the Straight for comment before deadline.”

Hmmm?  I wonder, what ever happened in that suit against the 12 members and non members of Burns Lake? ANyone? I know I saw Gerow sons in a fancy high definition LNG PROMO Pipeline video talking about how great their jobs were. Acting of course, for the corporate pig. I guess maybe Albert Gerow has got some “secret plan” he will unveil in which he takes over LNG and shuts it down?

Dream on hothead!  I support Ancestral Pride and the like, lets GO supporters of first nations! Get behind true leaders!  Many youth are speaking out as well, praise them one and all, lift them up as they are our future, our children’s future depend upon them.

Lets all move away and out of the dark colonial ages into a new enlightenment lead by traditional people’s.  Protectors will soon leave their jobs on masse and defend, that day is coming, prepare yourself Gerow youth, that day is coming, know which side you are on. All of you family members working for oil and gas, KNOW THAT YOU come from a time of people who walked and moved forward with true elders.  You will walk away from destructive jobs and take your rightful place in defending Life itself and your very futures.  I know it.  We all know it.

Prepare yourselves one and all.

Its gonna be fun work; reclaiming, rebuilding and the empowerment which will follow.

kym hothead hines


tee hee hee…


go to below url for full story and photo of MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert.


“MLA Spencer Chandra Herbert says the NDP is focused on taking on the government.
NEW DEMOCRATS AREN’T having a conversation about Albert Gerow’s endorsement of exploration work for the Northern Gateway pipeline, according to B.C. NDP environment critic Spencer Chandra Herbert.”


Caucasian woman asked to run for chief of Burns Lake Band
Enbridge pipeline divides First Nations in Burns Lake area
Defamation suit exposes huge rift in Burns Lake band

“Gerow is the husband of Victoria–Beacon Hill MLA Carole James, a former leader of the NDP, which opposes the oil pipeline project.

“That conversation is not there. Our conversation is about how do you take on the government,” Chandra Herbert told the Straight in a phone interview on February 6.

Last year, as chief of the Burns Lake Band, Gerow backed an application by Northern Gateway proponent Enbridge Inc. for temporary-use permits to undertake drilling and surveys.

“We’re not looking at an individual band or an individual person,” Chandra Herbert said.

B.C. Green interim leader Adam Olsen suggested that there must have been some “discomfort” among New Democrats over Gerow supporting exploration activities for the pipeline. However, the Tsartlip First Nation member said that Greens aren’t going to push the NDP to talk about this.

“It is their business to have the discussion, whether they see fit or not. It is what it is,” Olsen told the Straight in a phone interview.

Gerow stepped down as Burns Lake Band chief on December 31, 2013, before the end of his term.

On February 11, a by-election was under way for a new band leader. Pauline Goertzen, a Caucasian woman, and Wesley Sam, a former band councillor allied with Gerow, were running for the position.”

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter: @carlitopablo.

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Affordable housing in Victoria gets “Temporary Promises” from B.C. program.

SHN Banner

Times Columnist ran a story with very little research again, I am afraid, or, once again a reporter was edited?


The headline read:  Affordable housing in Victoria gets boost from B.C. program.

Here is my analysis, kym hothead:

Coleman is a liar and his history going back to the disability review with Gordon Campbell’s regime is gross and inhuman, he has recently REDEFINED social housing.

Here is where the money will be spent:” $62.5 million over five years to bring rent supplements and support services to at-risk groups in six communities, including Victoria.”
That is poverty pimping and its TEMPORARY best!  People, this is not an answer, this is a temporary job keep program for folks working front line poverty industry and middle class homeowners who want to fill their rental suites, when the money runs out those folks will be in the same place they are in now but only WORSE since NO social housing building plans are on the books! WE the people will need to place it on the books.

So, all these folks in this group;  youth at risk, women at risk of violence, those leaving hospitals and correctional systems and first nations: are at risk of being dumped in five or less yeas, as the rental supplements do run out.  No Permanent Social Housing and actual Permanent Affordable housing are bing built or planned for even.  This is not the solution, its a job creation program and a temporary fix, its not fair at all.  Not fair to do this to all the people involved including the front line workers whose own mental health are stressed, all the social justice and academics who work really hard to HELP create great projects just to witness their ideas get watered down to this? Thats just wrong!

“The at-risk groups include youth transitioning out of foster care, women who have experienced violence or are at risk of violence, those leaving hospitals and correctional systems and aboriginal people.

The rental supplements will help these individuals find and secure affordable housing, while connecting them with agencies to offer support and prevent them from becoming homeless.”

Here is a classic de-politicisation statement from a person making the most right now currently in poverty pimping industry in Victoria, I assume:

” “These [at-risk groups] are all the areas that we have identified as needing focus, so we’re pretty happy with it,” Wynn-Williams said.”

I add: Only he’d be pretty happy about a temporary solution, what with his job and all attached to stats.
“He said he was told Victoria will receive 117 rental supplements through the program, which will translate into 100 more spaces of affordable housing. The supplements will be administered through various agencies, including Pacifica Housing, Burnside Gorge Community Centre and Threshold Housing Society.”

I am sure that many of these rental subsidies will not help folks on streets now but help keep the rental subsidized folks going who are already temporarily benefitting from them.  I see the numbers on streets will most certainly rise, no Permanent Homes built, its gonna get worse so, police, front line will indeed be busy placing bandaids on folks open wounds of vulnerability in this heartless Neo Liberal led province and, it seems NDP locally are not pushing for Social Housing and Affordable Housing?

SHN BAnner 2 legisla

Social Housing includes Affordable housing for working poor people and all definitions of families.

CTEHV currently has a Working Group on the Social Housing Now movement.  We have recently decided and are organizing with VIPIRG and SOLID to hold a Community Action Planning Meeting on October 28th at St. Andrews Church, Kirk Hall-Douglas and Broughton 6-730 pm.

VIPIRG will begin by presenting findings on their recent Housing Survey and: Social Housing Now Working Group will end with sharing updates and ask /prepare for what is next re: Affordable and Social Housing for Novembers next meeting in which SHN Victoria will present proposal they are currently developing as well as others who will share their work or visions with the idea of actions in mind.

In Novembers meeting we will talk about what to focus on after Novembers Housing meeting part 2 looking into December.  Police State, Harm Reduction and need for an immediate Safe Consumption Site to open, Homeless and cold weather protocol issues,…the list is endless, we decide together what actions are needed/wanted.

respect and in solidarity,

kym hothead hines

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