We need better organization and coordination of provincial support for those who are homeless in Manitoba
Wednesday, Dec 2, I asked in Question Period about the need for better provincial coordination and organization in their help for those who are homeless. There is not now a web site with critical daily information about the availability of shelter beds, of transitional housing, of warming shelters and other resources for those who are homeless. We need this level of daily information so that there is publicly available information on the availability of supports. While many who are homeless may not have quick access to the internet, some do, and for others those who are helping them can get this information and share it. We need this web site to help us see the picture of what is available and more easily help those who are homeless get the support they need. We also need to see much better organization and coordination of Employment and Income Assistance (EIA). EIA is currently understaffed and the wait time for getting an intake appointment for EIA is three weeks. This is far too long. It is inappropriate that individuals who are homeless should have such a shockingly long wait to just get an intake appointment. You can not get quick access to housing when it takes you the first three weeks to get an appointment. Compare this to Medicine Hat where most people who are homeless get housing in 48 hours. I asked Heather Stefanson the question below. As you will see she dodged answering the questions I asked. We deserve a better response than this.
Homeless Population in Manitoba - Housing Support and Online Resources
Hon. Jon Gerrard (River Heights): Madam Speaker, I've had discussions with students at Kelvin High School about those who are homeless - our friends on the street. I asked, following these and other discussions: Will the government ensure that there's a web page for those who are homeless and for those who help them, to include daily occupancy and vacancy rates and available spaces at shelters and transitional housing in Winnipeg as well as a list of warming centres and other resources for those who are underhoused?
And will the government also bring organization and co-ordination to its existing programs, including EIA, to achieve a guarantee of quick access to housing with supports for all Manitobans who are homeless?
Hon. Heather Stefanson (Minister of Families): I thank the member for the question.
It gives me an opportunity to inform the House that we, as of Sunday, opened a new 138-bed isolation site in Winnipeg for homeless Manitobans, Madam Speaker, bringing the total number of isolation sites to five in Winnipeg and 14 across the province of Manitoba.
This is also on top of $3.5 million that we have invested in our homeless shelters, Madam Speaker, more than $550,000 for Main Street Project, more than $720,000 for–to support the Salvation Army, over $225,000 to support Siloam Mission.
We also gave resources to RaY, the resource assistance to youth, and we will continue–