London’s most vulnerable citizens will be the focus of a series of events in the downtown core on Thursday to commemorate World Homeless Action Day.
The London Homeless Coalition is organizing three activities to recognize World Homeless Action Day; a Soup ‘n Bread meal at Covent Garden Market Square starting at 4 p.m., a tour of the downtown core by London CAReS outreach staff from 5 p.m. to 5:15 p.m., and the Annual Homeless Memorial Service at Campbell Park starting at 6 p.m.
Chair of the London Homeless Coalition Abe Oudshoorn says the events are focused on raising awareness of how people can help.
“Statistics show we’re making progress,” Oudshoorn told AM980, “We’re seeing the movement of those who have been continually homeless at a shelter making a move into housing. This is where the work has been focused on the last couple years.”
Over 35,000 people live in “extreme poverty” in London, according to data from Poverty Research Centre at Kings Univerity College. Someone under “extreme poverty” has an annual income of under $11,000 as an individual and under $19,000 as a parent.
“For a lot of these folks, it’s a straight economic equation of not having enough resources to bridge the gap, to accessing housing, to additional concerns of mental health and substances,” Oudshoorn said.
The day will end with a memorial service dedicated to those who have died while homeless.
On Tuesday, the Ontario government announced it would be partnering with municipalities to end homelessness by providing $632-million of funding over two years. In a release, the province said the money will help “families and individuals at risk of homelessness stay in their homes or get housing they need.”
More information on Thursday’s events can be found here.