On Wednesday, April 7, 2021, a free virtual event addressed the steps needed to end homelessness in our city. From Crisis to Connection – Ending Homelessness in Winnipeg featured people with lived and work experience -including local Indigenous voices- sharing expertise and perspectives. Speakers included Elder Charlotte Nolin; End Homelessness Winnipeg’s Betty Edel; Jacob Kaufman and Adrienne Dudek from Main Street Project; and Angelina Pelletier from Ndinawe. The discussion was moderated by Right to Housing Coalition Provincial Working Group Chair, Kirsten Bernas.
“We need to really focus on the humanity of people, and not the labelling of people,” said Betty Edel. “The biggest thing that people need to recognize is that homelessness can happen to any of us, if we don’t have the proper supports in our lives.”
“People who are experiencing homelessness have been marginalized, and not treated with the respect that they need,” added Jacob Kaufman. “A shelter does not feel like a permanent home for someone. And that’s a big thing that we tend to forget about, is that people want a home.”
“There are things that we can do,” offered Angelina Pelletier, “tangible steps that can be taken to transform these systems that we’re working with and to help mobilize solutions.” Pelletier encouraged participants to engage elected representatives on housing issues, and to approach people experiencing homelessness from a place of compassion and respect.
Nearly 300 people participated in the event, which was organized in collaboration by Kíkinanaw Óma Strategy to Support Unsheltered Winnipeggers; End Homelessness Winnipeg; Make Poverty History Manitoba; and the Right to Housing Coalition.