Downtown Mission Opposes Tent City Idea

The head of the Downtown Mission is not in favour of the idea of a tent city to solve the homeless crisis.

Executive Director Ron Dunn says the answer is funding and more space.

He says the idea of a tent city was one of 20 or 30 ideas put forward during a meeting on the issue held at City Hall.

Speaking on AM800's The Lynn Martin Show, Dunn says all levels of government need to be doing more.

He says at the moment it really comes down to money.

"It's about funding, we are in an emergency situation.  There is no doubt in my mind and nobody I think would disagree with that statement.  The fact is the shelters that are funded by the city, the Welcome Centre and Salvation Army, both in my opinion are underfunded"

He says there simply aren't enough resources right now.

"Maybe we could accommodate more people and improve the turnover rate and get people in a situation that's better for them faster if we had the resources, the manpower to do that"

He says a tent city in Windsor would send a horrible message.

"We live in the greatest country in this world and we live in the greatest city in Canada in my opinion, and a tent city is a fail.  I would be ashamed to be a citizen of this city if we advocate for a tent city"

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens called together the summit of stakeholders handling the homeless issue.

He says the city is not going to move ahead on the idea of a tent city.

Dilkens says at any given time there is space available in the existing shelter system in Windsor.

He says just writing a cheque to solve the homeless issue is not the answer.