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Myriad Of Reasons For Homelessness In Moncton

By Tara Clow Sep 19, 2022 | 12:38 PM

Pedro Ribeiro Simões / CC

There are around 400 people living rough or in shelters in Moncton.

But Senior Director of Outreach Services at the YMCA Trevor Goodwin says there are a number of different reasons why people end up on the streets.

“We have people that are struggling with mental health issues and battling addictions, but we are seeing such a huge increase in people being priced out of living.   The cost of living is going up. People are having a hard time making living wages, and people who are on fixed incomes. We have seniors that are sleeping in tents or in vehicles because they can’t afford the rent. The rent has gone up and they’re on a fixed income and they’re restricted on how much they can make, so they’re losing their housing,” Goodwin says.

With rising rent prices and residents on fixed incomes, people just can’t make ends meet, or they have to choose between a roof over their heads and food, “You miss one paycheck in this economy right now and that can land you out on the street. We have landlords that are just waiting for a reason to evict someone so that they can raise the rent or renovate a property and gain more income. No one is really looking for, the affordable housing, the wraparound services and the solutions for these people that are entering into homelessness.”

He says there are a lot of youth between the ages of 16 and 18 who have no place to go, if they leave a bad family situation at home, “It’s not that they don’t want to follow their parent’s rules, and they’re going to run away from home. These people flee poor domestic environments. We don’t have a system set up for that.”

A proposal was recently submitted to the provincial government for an out-of-the-cold shelter again this year.   A deadline for a response was originally set for September 15th, but Goodwin says they reached out and have asked for more time.  He addd they are reconvening on September 28th.

He has been trying to remain optimistic, but he says with the growing number of deaths and the growing number of individuals who are being forced into homelessness, he is quite concerned about this winter.

“it’s not fair to say we have an addiction problem, it’s a fair to say that we have a drug problem.  The accessibility to these drugs and the sheer demand and amounts that are out there is bigger than we’ve ever seen.   With people entering into homelessness and  struggling with living wages, we see people entering this world who get depressed or get downtrodden, and they’re turning to drugs to feel safe or to escape the situations that they’re in.   That’s part of the reason we’re seeing this increase in overdoses,”  Goodwin says.

He adds there are those who are battling their addiction and doing their best to get better,  but sometimes the addiction wins.

At least 22 clients who were living on the street or in shelters have died this year, but he believes that number may actually be a lot higher.


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