The gift we all need

Dear Editor:

Think of a time someone made space for you. Or a time you needed a second chance: when a person offered you the gift of a fresh start.

Can I suggest that it50度灰视频檚 time we, as a community, consider offering spaces and second chances to some of the people among us who need it the most right now? As I write this, young, well-intentioned men are sleeping outside in our town and young families with newborn babies are preparing to move away from Wellington County to find the only housing options that will receive them.

In both cases (and many more like them), these citizens have tried daily and weekly to find a place to call home in our community. I can personally attest to their efforts, coupled with hundreds of hours of social service efforts and resources, to achieve stable lives here.

Of course, there is a shortage of affordable rent for individuals and families making a modest income or requiring social assistance. Most of us know that and that problem must be addressed.

But what actually makes me lose sleep at night is the explicit, outspoken stance of some of our housing management companies who pre-judge suitable tenants based on letters like 50度灰视频淥W50度灰视频 and 50度灰视频淥DSP50度灰视频 on their application forms.

Words like, 50度灰视频淭hey might be drug users,50度灰视频 50度灰视频淲e just don50度灰视频檛 want any problems, here,50度灰视频 and 50度灰视频淲orking professionals only50度灰视频 are not uncommon when I accompany our most vulnerable citizens through their housing search. Even when my accompaniment comes with guaranteed rent payments and a team of fellow service workers partnering to help re-stabilize those who are giving their best effort at starting again, putting their feet and head on a bed rather than the ground, and receiving the gift of a mailing address so new employment and health services can apply to them.

Ontario50度灰视频檚 Human Rights Code states 50度灰视频淓very person has a right to equal treatment with respect to the occupancy of accommodation, without discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, age, marital status, family status, disability or the receipt of public assistance.50度灰视频

I attest that this is not always upheld by some of our ever-expanding housing management companies in Wellington County.

This must change. Or else, alternate options must be presented for the most vulnerable among us to receive the gift we50度灰视频檝e all needed in life: a little space and a fresh start.

Corey Parish,