November 18, 2016
MP Johns Calls for Urgent Resources to Combat Homelessness
OTTAWA – Today, NDP MP for Courtenay-Alberni, Gord Johns, made a statement in the House of Commons on the critical housing situation in Courtenay-Alberni.
“In my riding of Courtenay-Alberni, access to affordable housing has become an urgent and desperate matter,” Johns said, “The situation is critical: people are living on unsafe derelict boats, in the bush, and on the streets.”
In the Comox Valley, results from a 2016 survey revealed that homelessness starts at a young age: one third of respondents became homeless under the age of 27 and one quarter of respondents had been in the foster care system.
“In Port Alberni, a city of 17,000 people, more than half the residents can barely afford their rent, while the homeless shelter has to turn away more than 1,000 people last year because they simply didn’t have the room,” noted Johns.
 The Port Alberni Shelter Society, The Comox Valley Coalition to End Homelessness, Dawn to Dawn, and the Oceanside Task Force on Homelessness were named by Johns as local organizations who dedicate themselves to eradicating homelessness.
“These organizations need urgent resources from Ottawa to help lift people out of homelessness and restore the dignity and compassion they deserve.”
Video of MP Johns statement: