$6-billion ask: Housing support needed for Indigenous people living away from community

A few years ago, Deborah Baker was having trouble finding a place to live, so her sister let her and her two daughters move into a studio apartment in North Vancouver.

“At the time, I was on income assistance and was looking for an apartment for me and my daughters, knocking on the door. Sorry, it’s not available,’ said Baker.

“There was stigma and just this very nuanced discrimination about having to share your income stream.

Ultimately, Squamish’s mother had to move to Nanaimo because she couldn’t find a place to live in Vancouver.

“It’s very difficult to come out of domestic violence and try to find yourself, but having the right support system for me (family) makes a huge difference,” Baker said. increase.

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Baker was lucky enough to have the support of her family, but many people in a situation similar to hers are less fortunate and need additional support.

Housing support is low and in between for Indigenous peoples living outside protected areas and away from local communities. And the organizations that provide support are doing the best they can with limited space and budget.

across Canada, 60% of indigenous peoples Living outside the reserve, away from urban communities (population > 1,000). However, the majority of direct funding is still aimed at shelters and community he housing.

State budgets vary, but the federal government The 2022 budget allocated $2.4 billion over five years For indigenous housing in the reserve. The budget also suggests that through the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation he will invest $300 million over five years to jointly develop and launch an urban, rural and northern Aboriginal housing strategy, although some person called me. Federal action on this failed.

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Baker, who is currently pursuing her MBA, is helping mothers like herself as executive director of the Aboriginal Mother Center Society (AMCS).

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Among the many programs they run are transformative housing programincludes 16 suites for mothers and their children who are homeless or at risk of child welfare interventions in the city.

The program is always in full force and focuses on providing culturally relevant support while keeping children in a safe and secure environment with their mothers.

Last year, AMCS worked with mothers and their children to provide wraparound support and ultimately help families reunite.

“She went through all of our programs. She actually went to school part-time, got a house in British Columbia, and was able to reunite with her family,” said Baker. rice field. “She’s a great parent. She absolutely loves her kids and I’m so proud of her.

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“We are letting all our former residents know that we are doing outreach and that we are involved in the community, so the programs and support they need are still available. we are always here for you

And continuing to support people wherever they are is how they make things happen. The AMCS work is transformative, but the work requires funding and is currently reaching its limits.

Click to play video: 'Supported Housing Under Construction in Vancouver'

Supportive housing facility under construction in Vancouver

The center is a member of the Aboriginal Housing Management Association (AHMA), a social housing management agency with members throughout BC. In 2022, AHMA will Unique Indigenous Housing Strategy Because we decided that what the government was doing wasn’t enough.

At a press conference earlier this month, AHMA, along with several other Indigenous organizations, announced the launch of the National Indigenous Collaborative Housing Incorporated (NICHI) and told the federal government to commit 60 dollars to the 2023 federal budget to deliver on its promise. I asked for a billion dollars. Develop urban, rural and northern indigenous housing strategies.

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AHMA CEO Margaret Faux noted Prime Minister Trudeau’s recent offer to fund aid, stating, “We want (the prime minister’s office) to focus on the $100 billion demand for health. I know what I’m getting at,” he said. improve the country’s struggling health care system.

“And we all know that housing is a panacea, especially in the last three years, through COVID-19 and fires, floods, climate change, and more. And if we know that we can save $10 billion on other services, we ask you to support our call to prime ministers and leaders at all levels of government.”

indigenous experience higher homeless rates and housing instability And organizations are fighting for more dedicated funding to keep people housed.

“Investing in affordable housing, including funding for culturally relevant community resources, health services and education, has led to a systemic cycle of housing insecurity that has left so many Indigenous families behind. We have to cut it,” added Pfoh.

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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