Bench Talk Two Called A Great Success

The temperature dropped to 4 C, but at least it didn't rain for the second version of Bench Talk.

The Executive Director of the Downtwon Mission spent 24 hours sitting outdoors on a bench in front of their Wellness Centre on Ouellette Avenue.

Ron Dunn says it's a valuable way to connect with the community as various elected and other leaders spent time on the bench with him.

Dunn says it gives him a chance to address the key issues the downtown faces.


Accomplishments of the Downtown Mission in 2018, sign on the lawn of 875 Ouellette Avenue, October 12, 2018 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

"It's just a great opportunity to have meaningful dialogue and discussion about the issues that matter, again homelessness, the epidemic of lack of affordable housing and the opioid and addiction crisis, mental health.  We had some great people come by"

Dunn says several people asked what's happening with the transformation of the main library branch across the street.

He says Bench Talk attracted more people facing homelessness this time.

"You know it points out the plight of people experiencing homelessness, they don't get to choose the weather, right.  So I think a highlight for me this year was  the fact that I had a lot more people with lived experience, current lived experience, come and sit with me on the bench"

Dunn says many of those running in the municipal election stopped by, but he didn't get a visit from a Windsor police representative.

Dunn admits it was cold and he's tired, but feels very positive after this year's event.

He pledges he'll be back on the bench next October.