It’s a long road ahead to solve the issue of poverty within Regina, but some steps were taken yesterday.
A discussion about the situation was held outside Knox-Metropolitan United Church and what possible action needs to be done.
The downtown Regina Community Support Team, the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry and Councillor Andrew Stevens all spoke at the event.
Stevens says that poverty is important issue that needs to be addressed immediately. “Housing security, actual homelessness, people sleeping rough, addictions, mental health issues it’s frightening that it’s getting worse.”
Poverty is a problem that needs to be addressed by all three levels of government according to Stevens, he added that they should be working together on poverty instead of within their own jurisdiction.
Bonnie Morton of the Regina Anti-Poverty Ministry says it takes a community effort to bring the issue of poverty to government officials. “Anything that I’ve attended where government has initiated it always gone on the wayside, nothing has ever come out of it, it was just a bunch of lip service, end of story. I think that if the community comes together like we’re talking about and we starting mobilizing together, I think we can become a force to be reckon with.”
The next steps that needs to be taken according to Morton is for the anti-poverty organizations to continue meeting with each other and to form a strategic plan.
There are a lot of action that needs to be done both immediately and in the future according to Stevens. “We need talk about investment in community well spaces, we need to put money into calm reduction or safe consumption spaces, that’s something the city is committed to. Most importantly we need to figure out a way to get people who are sleeping in doorways into the available housing units, and that’s something we need to be doing by the end of this year.”