Opioids could impact Calgary's plan to end homelessness: Mayor
Calgary Homeless Foundation says plan is still on track, and an update is in the works
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This marks the final year of Calgary’s 10-year plan to end homelessness, and while gains have been made, Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the opioid ciris could be a setback.
“I’m obviously not satisfied as long as there’s people who don’t have a decent safe place to live,” said the mayor in an interview with Metro News.
He said the 10-year plan was a major shift in the way we thought about homelessness. Before, mental health and addiction problems were believed to be the root cause of homelessness.
Now the lack of a stable home is seen as the root cause of the other problems, said Nenshi.
Part of the plan was finding housing for people facing the most difficult situations, but he worries that the opioid crisis will be a new strain.
“Now we’ve got another group of folks who are going to be very difficult to house back through the system,” said the mayor.
Kevin McNichol, vice president of Strategy with the Calgary Homeless Foundation, said while the opioid crisis does require policy adaptation, it hasn’t impacted their ability to house people.
“The best place a person can deal with or address or be kept safest when dealing with these types of issues is when they’ve got a secure place they identify as their home."
McNichol said an update on the 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness is coming later this month.