In London, shelters are temporary solutions, says this reader

“There is no easily accessible way for someone to get a job and escape poverty without a place to live.”

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As communities across the country face an unprecedented homelessness and encampment crisis, we need your help to tell the full story. We’re looking for your stories about homelessness across Canada and adding reader-submitted stories to the Interactive map of Tent City Nation. Stories may be lightly edited for clarity.

📍 London, Ontario

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I live within a five-minute walk of three different campgrounds. However, most of the time they keep to themselves. Many more members of my community are homeless, so that is difficult for them. In general, they are good neighbors: all the complaints I have could be solved by getting housing, which is an issue that affects them much more than it affects me. (Sometimes there is trash lying around, but people who have to live without trash pickup are much more affected by it than some guy walking past it on the way home.)

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Overall, providing stable, unconditional housing has been shown to be the best way to address homelessness. Shelters and interim solutions are fine, but until our society recognizes housing as a right it cannot be taken away, even if the person is not working, using drugs or whatever. Homelessness will be a problem and it will get worse. There is no easily accessible way for someone to get a job and escape poverty without a place to live.

— Bert Warren, London, Ontario

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