Questionnaire for Provincial Candidates Election 2013
The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness has compiled this questionnaire for distribution to all candidates seeking to represent Burnaby in the legislature.
The results from this questionnaire will be posted on the task force website www.burnabyhomelesstaskforce.org.
Thank you for your consideration regarding this important issue.
We look forward to your response.
Please send questions and responses to Wanda Mulholland at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 26th, 2013.
In light of the background information below provided please answer the following questions:
1) What is your party’s position on addressing homelessness?
2) If elected to the provincial government what will you do to ensure that short term/transitional housing is opened in Burnaby specifically for people who are dealing with homelessness?
3) If elected what resources will you commit to Burnaby to address the growing number of citizens who are dealing with homelessness?
4) If elected what will you do to increase the supply of affordable housing in Burnaby for low income people?
5) If elected what will you do to increase the supply of supported housing in Burnaby?
Background Information for All Burnaby Candidates 2013 Provincial Election
Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness
The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness is committed to working with: all levels of government, the health authority, social service agencies, business, faith communities, and concerned citizens to ensure the provision of housing, support services and adequate income for Burnaby residents who are without housing or at risk of homelessness.
Burnaby is one of a very few municipalities in the Lower Mainland which does not have a continuum of housing for males, females and families who are dealing with homelessness.
The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness believes that within the Task Force membership we have the demonstrated expertise to successfully operate short term and transitional housing.
The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness presented as a delegation to Mayor and Council in May 2012 in regards to a potential site for transitional housing at the 401 Motor Inn on Boundary Road Burnaby.
In September 2012 the Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness, with the assistance of MLA Richard Lee, met with Minister Coleman and CEO Shane Ramsay from BC Housing to discuss the needs of Burnaby citizens for a continuum of housing.
The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness has learned through our work that many people in Burnaby who are homeless have lived most of their adult life in the Burnaby area.
The City of Burnaby 2011 Social Sustainability Report states that poverty is a serious issue confronting some residents of Burnaby, many of whom are increasingly challenged in accessing basic life necessities. Almost 20% of Burnaby households had incomes below $20,000 in 2005.
Between March 2008 and 2011 the Burnaby Extreme Weather Response run by Lookout Society opened the shelter for 174 nights providing 2,625 overnight stays including food and shelter.
Between March 2008 and 2011 the Progressive Housing Society’s Outreach Workers assisted over 1,500 unique individuals living in extreme poverty, precarious housing and homelessness.
The 2011 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count located 78 people in Burnaby who were interviewed as homeless during the 24-hour snapshot.
Of those counted 4 % were seniors 55 plus. Seniors who are living in extreme poverty, precarious housing and homelessness is of great concern for the Task Force.
An Angus Reid Poll commissioned by the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness in September 2012 found that one-in-four (23%) people surveyed in the Lower Mainland know someone who is currently homeless or has been homeless during the past five years.
Each Thursday morning at the Outreach Resource Centre between 100- 120 people living in extreme poverty receive food, clothing, medical care and advocacy assistance.
Each month the Salvation Army serves 400 people during their Monday night street ministry.
City of Burnaby
In 2008 the City of Burnaby created a framework for supporting a shelter/transitional housing facility in Burnaby.
In the spring of 2012 the City of Burnaby approved a template for transitional housing for the 401 Motor Inn on 2950 Boundary Road in Burnaby. This template is also approved in principal for potential
sites in the future.
The City of Burnaby also recommended that secure funding be obtained from senior levels of government to ensure the success of this initiative. Funding from BC Housing was not available at this time.
Province of BC
BC Housing provides funding for Lookout workers at the Burnaby Extreme Weather Response.
BC Housing provides funding for two Progressive Housing Society Homeless Outreach Workers.
In November 2012 the BC Government opened a 23 bed supported independent living residence in Burnaby called Elspeth Alley Housing for Elder Women. This supported independent living program assists women 55 plus who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.
The Burnaby Task Force On Homelessness has supported the Outreach Resource Centre since its opening in November 2006.
This program is operated by the Progressive Housing Society Homeless Outreach Program.
The Outreach Resource Centre is open on Thursday mornings from 9:00am until 11:30am at Southside Community Church 7135 Walker Ave.
At this centre people are welcomed to a non judgmental caring community and offered: donated clothing, donated toiletries and a bagged lunch.
Outreach Workers provide options for advocacy regarding housing searches, ID replacement, ministry liaison, landlord issues etc.
There is a nurse practitioner who regularly attends providing medical care in the corner of the church.
There is a seasonal flu clinic and a learning table from the Burnaby Public Library and I Care Tutoring once a month.
The Outreach Resource Centre assists between 100- 120 people each week.
Establishing a permanent location and expanding the program of the Outreach Resource Centre to five days per week would address the following service gaps:
Outreach worker support and advocacy
Mental Health Programs
Extreme Weather Response
Storage for Donations