The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul Canada will be commencing a 3-year national campaign on the issue of housing. This campaign will have a preparatory phase during this current year to be followed by two phases for the implementation of the campaign. We are very excited to be undertaking the issue of housing during this campaign.
We chose the term housing as it encompasses various topics such as affordable housing, safe and secure housing, adequate housing and of course homelessness and those citizens at risk of homelessness. There are certainly several related initiatives within and outside of our Vincentian family which demonstrates the need to address these important issues from a perspective that includes our Vincentian charism. While the various financial considerations related to housing are a major factor, we also believe that we must look at the human investment as an equally important factor when discussing housing and homelessness. The human right for every human being to have adequate housing and a place they can call home and live and grow as a family is a right we must respect and support.
This campaign will place an emphasis on the education of our own membership as well as the general population regarding the reality and importance of housing and homelessness. In addition, through choosing one major issue and in using it, we hope to raise the level of knowledge and interest in the need to take social action regarding this topic and other issues that contribute to people living in poverty in Canada. Housing and homelessness are also issues that we can see and experience at all levels of government and in all sizes of cities from larger urban areas to rural communities.
One of the most important components of this campaign will be to listen to our neighbours and friends in need in order to gain a full appreciation of the factors related to housing and possible solutions to alleviating these factors while working towards a more holistic approach.
About the author:
Jim Paddon lives in London, Ontario, Canada and is past president of the Ontario Regional Council of the Society of Saint Vincent de Paul. He is currently chair of the National Social Justice Committee of the Society in Canada. He is married to his dear wife Pat and they have six daughters and eleven grandchildren. Jim has been a member of the Society since the 1970’s.
Opinions expressed are the author’s own views and do not officially represent those of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.