Calgary's homeless prepare for mock vote
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As election campaigns appeal to students, families and seniors, one group of Calgarians is doing what they can to mobilize the vote in their own community.
"We live in Canada, it's a democracy," said Adam Huebert, a volunteer at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehabilitation Centre (DI). He has been mobilizing the vote in his community with weekly practice elections. "For people who do vote it's a step forward for them, back into the regular world."
On Monday, the Calgary Homeless Foundation is hosting a "Mock Election" with "polling stations" at the Calgary Drop-In and Rehabilitation Centre (DI), YWCA Mary Dover House, Alpha House and The Alex. From 2 to 6 p.m., Monday, they will give homeless folks the information they need to register and vote at the proper polling stations for the Oct. 19 Federal Election.
Huebert said this year changes are allowing the homeless to register and go through the voting process easier by getting a letter of residence.
The event at the DI Monday will even bring candidates to the shelter in hopes of rallying more interest.
"A lot of people are pretty hesitant about it. A lot of people just think they don't have the ID for it, they live here and their voice doesn't matter," Huebert said. "With the candidates coming out and everything it really shows them that their voices do matter – we've got 1,200 voices in this building."
A spokesperson from the Calgary Homeless Foundation told Metro there are a number of election issues that could directly affect the transient and homeless population – including affordable housing issues.
"Our overall goal is to give those experiencing homelessness the tools to be able to understand what it's like to vote, because it's not very often that it's made accessible to them," said a CHF spokesperson.