Nicole Read, mayor of Maple Ridge, says that homelessness has reached crisis levels in the province. She argues that “simply spending money” is not going to solve the problem. She further states that “there needs to be a plan” that uses evidence-based decision making to improve outcomes.
Homelessness is a complex, intersectional issue that exists at the axes of addiction, poverty, race, age, class and mental illness. Read is correct in her assessment of the problem. We need a comprehensive social policy framework in this province that could see decisions made according to the social determinants of health and evidence. It would also contain outcomes that could be measured.
Read further states: “It’s simply unacceptable for us to not produce a result for these people who are absolutely our most vulnerable citizens.”