A proponent of homelessness says stabbing attacks on three vulnerable people last month are a sad reality.
Police regarded the accidental attacks within eight minutes of each other in the city center of Calgary on December 21, as hate-motivated.
Calgary police say random stab wounds in December were ‘hate-motivated attacks’
The victims had to be taken to hospital with serious injuries after being sprayed with a fire extinguisher before being stabbed with a knife.
“In the 17 years or so that I have been doing this, I have met hundreds and hundreds of homeless people, and I can only think of a handful who have not been victims of violence,” said Tim Richter, CEO of the Canadian Alliance to end homelessness.
“Unfortunately, we know this is very common.
“They are vulnerable people and are often the targets of attacks, or they are often hit by people, organized crime or drug dealers.”
A 2019 Statistics Canada report found that nearly one in 10 Canadians was homeless at some point.
In the 12 months before the survey, those who experienced homelessness reported violence against them at three times the rate of those who had never been homeless.
More than half of Albertans using emergency shelters are in Calgary, study shows
Richter said the reality reinforces the need to find affordable housing for those living on the streets.
“If you were to talk to anyone in any of these shelters, almost everyone has either experienced (violence) or knows someone who has,” he said. “It’s (a) preventable part of the homeless experience.”
Identities confirmed in death of family of 4 on Manitoba-US border; RCMP pleads for information
Police warn of ‘consequences’ for violence as truck convoy approaches Ottawa
Alberta and the federal government on Wednesday announced a $ 30 million project to turn a vacant downtown office tower into affordable housing, shelter and transitional housing.
Feds Add $ 16.6M for Affordable Calgary Downtown Housing
Last summer, Vancouver police released video of a bystander of a violent and unprovoked attack on a homeless man in the city’s Yaletown neighborhood.
The video showed the man walking through a group and being hit on the head by a suspect, who chased him down the sidewalk and pushed him to the ground.
The victim was repeatedly kicked until another man intervened.
Vancouver police investigate unprovoked attack on homeless man
A month later, Vancouver police are investigating another haphazard attack on a homeless man who was shot in the leg with an arrow fired by someone from a building in Downtown Eastside.
Homeless man shot with arrow in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside: police
In Calgary, officers searching a home two days after the stabbing found clothing that matched the suspects’ description, a number of knives, nylon cable ties, bear spray, copper knobs, small amounts of drugs, ammunition and a sawn-off .22 – caliber rifle.
Asher Atter and Jaymes Richardson have been arrested and face several charges, including aggravated assault and assault with a weapon.
Police say declaring a crime hate-motivated will not result in additional charges, but may be considered during sentencing.
© 2022 The Canadian Press