At roughly the 4:00 mark of the video below is a brief encounter between two Edmontonians that symbolizes the work of all those dedicated to ending homelessness in this city.
Doug Cooke puts an extra coat over the shoulders of a vulnerable Edmontonian who is living outside.
“So you’re a little bit warmer, hey?” says Cooke, who serves with the Boyle Street Community Services-Edmonton Police Service HELP team.
“Thank you,” a voice returns.
“There you go,” says Cooke.
The coat is not housing, but it does represent the good that housing is. Housing is health. Housing is safety. The short dialogue does not capture the complexity of finding solutions for homelessness, but it does capture the humanity at the core of the project.
November 22 marks National Housing Day in Canada. It’s hardly a celebration. Or even an occasion like other special days of the calendar are occasions. What it is is a timely reminder of the work being done by partners in Edmonton and communities across the country to improve access to housing for everyone in Canada.
In Edmonton right now, work continues on five supportive housing projects that, by spring, will be home for at least 210 Edmontonians.
This video tells the story of that vital work, and how supportive housing supports the kind of city where all belong.