In the last few weeks for this podcast, you might have noticed that a theme has appeared. Homelessness has crept into the forefront of discussions here in the 905. Especially in Hamilton, where the city has struggled to get a handle on the problem and find proper solutions. The public reception to the city’s policies has been controversial.
In November, the police dismantled the homeless encampments in J.C. Beemer park leading to a large amount of criticism of excessive force and questioning if they were the best tool to solve the issue. Recently a grassroots initiative of building tiny shelters for the homeless on the site of the Sir John A MacDonald school showed real entrepreneurship and innovation to the problem. We had Ted McMeekin on to discuss the potential and hope for this initiative and how it might change the shape of Hamilton’s approach to homelessness in the future.
However, we weren’t finished talking about this complex issue. Homelessness often gets framed in terms of a housing issue, rather than the complex one of social needs and mental health illnesses that often exist in the community. We wanted to get a better understanding of what exactly the issues happening on the ground were, and how we got here.
Denise Davy is an award-winning journalist and former reporter for The Hamilton Spectator. Her book, “Her Name Was Margaret”, outlines the experience of Margaret, a woman Denise met who had been living for decades on the streets with severe mental illness. Denise has written numerous times on the issue of homelessness and its causes. We speak with her to understand better the issue how we need to reframe our conversations on homelessness if we are to solve it and work to help those on the streets.
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Nicholas Paul: sound editing.
The Quadrafonics: fantastic opening and closing tunes!
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