Liberal Housing Critic Calls for Action After Unexpected Closure
The sudden closure of Deacon House comes as a complete shock to Liberal Housing critic Gordon McNeilly.
“This is incomprehensible. It’s completely unacceptable and puts vulnerable Islanders into dangerous situations while depriving people of a critical support system in the city of Charlottetown” said McNeilly.
Deacon House, an overnight residence for men struggling with addictions issues, was closed on December 10th, leaving Islanders struggling with addictions and homelessness without an emergency option.
“It was only on November 24th of the recent Legislative sitting that I pressed the Minister responsible for Housing on the topic of a potential Deacon House closure, citing my concerns around the lack of alternatives for those in need. And earlier, on November 19th, the Minister of Health insisted that Deacon House was in fact not closing.
“This is a clear and unfortunate example of this Governments disjointed approach to housing that is putting Islanders in harm’s way. It’s time the Ministers for Housing and Minister of Health stopped the half measures we’ve seen and truly prioritized long-term solutions, like properly staffing and funding for shelters, so that these closures do not occur in the future”, said McNeilly.
On top of additional funding for staff and programming, McNeilly also believes deconstructing the barriers and silos around individual government departments would lend itself to ensuring the closures of these facilities are eliminated in the future.
“When you have a Minister of Health saying one thing, and a Minister of Housing saying another, you create confusion and fear, which leads to stress and an obvious inability for either Minister to prioritize the housing file. It’s time we rethink our approach to housing, especially as it pertains to our provinces most vulnerable. Cleary the current division of power and the respective Ministers approaches are not working in the best interest of Islanders”.