When I hear 2020, I usually think of it in terms of having great vision, as in 20 -20 eyesight. Here in Canada, I would like to think 2020 can also mean a year in which our social justice efforts demonstrate great vision through our 3-year national action campaign. The theme of this campaign is “Safe, Secure and Affordable Housing is a Human Right.” 2019 was year 1 of this 3-year campaign and was the preparatory phase, with year 2 (2020) and year 3 (2021) being the active parts.
Our campaign committee has been busy collecting feedback from Vincentians across Canada and working towards the development of an action plan. The final draft of this action plan will be presented to the SSVP national board of directors in April 2020 for final approval. Once this approval has been received, we shall work towards the official launch of the campaign.
While our hope is to make an impact on the theme as well as homelessness, we also hope that by conducting this campaign on one major issue we shall be able to demonstrate to every Vincentian what social justice and action really means and how it can make a real difference in the lives of our neighbours in need.
Social justice and charity go hand in hand and should compliment one another, rather than be opposing forces. It is from our charitable efforts and personal contact with those living in poverty, that we can truly see the effect of poverty and inequality in today’s world. There is no more important factor that keeps a person living in poverty than those related to housing and homelessness. It is every human being’s right to a safe, secure and affordable home in which they can live with dignity and the hope for a better future.
Please pray for a successful campaign and may it be one that has a positive effect on the future for all of us.
Jim Paddon, Chair
National Social Justice Committee
Society of Saint Vincent de Paul
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.