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Hamilton ACORN Statement on Advocate Registry for Homelessness - ACORN Canada

Hamilton ACORN Statement on Advocate Registry for Homelessness

Posted May 29, 2023

ACORN Hamilton is very concerned about Hamilton City Council’s recent motion for an “Advocate Registry for Homelessness” and the idea held by some members that an enforcement approach is preferred over a housing one.

The City is ultimately responsible for the care of its residents. The city has the resources to deal with the situation far better than any individual residents do. Charities exist, typically, to serve a need brought on by a dearth of political will in governments to provide for or protect our most vulnerable populations. The “Advocate Registry for Homelessness” is essentially a charity created through policy, which does nothing to address or solve the problem, but rather shifts the problem elsewhere, as governments often do for problems related to our most vulnerable residents.

If the city recognizes that homelessness is a problem, it must seek to solve it. Not move it. Not hide it. Not ignore it. Individual charity does not have the resources or authority required to solve this problem, but the city does.

Homelessness also cannot be solved by enforcement. Enforcement only serves to hide the problem from view or move it elsewhere. Housing, however, could play a significant role in addressing and resolving the problem. ACORN Hamilton strongly condemns the idea that an enforcement approach is preferable to a housing approach to address homelessness and is calling on the city and all of council to reconsider and adopt a housing-first approach.

Adequate housing is a human right; one that the City of Hamilton is failing to provide for its residents.