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Local housing organization calling on all levels of government to address Ottawa's homelessness crisis

"If governments put their mind to it, they can definitely end the problem," said Meg McCallum, the executive director of Alliance To End Homelessness Ottawa.

The issue of homelessness continues to be a growing problem in the nation's capital and one organization said more needs to be done to address the problem. 

Meg McCallum, the executive director of Alliance To End Homelessness Ottawa, joined The Sam Laprade Show on Nov. 1 and said the different levels of government play a role to ensure housing can be affordable for all Ottawa residents. 

"If governments put their mind to it, they can definitely end the problem," she explained. "We have the solutions, this isn't rocket science, it's about creating policies that protect affordable housing, that create new affordable housing and preserve the quality of affordable housing." 

McCallum said homelessness is a policy failure, and while it is not simple to solve the issue overnight, policies and resources need to be redirected in order to create solutions.

While people may have different reasons to experience homelessness in the city, she noted that poverty is one of the common threads among homeless populations. Nearly 85 per cent of people who are experiencing homelessness cannot afford the housing they need and visible minority groups such as the  Indigenous and Black populations may be more at risk of experiencing homelessness, she added.

The new city council, however, is also an opportunity to address Ottawa's homelessness crisis. McCallum pointed to the Starts with Home Campaign, which brings forward multiple solutions and eleven elected councillors have endorsed the campaign, including mayor-elect Mark Sutcliffe.

"We're really excited to get to work with the new council," she said. "Because we really have the solutions that can be implemented at the municipal level."

Listen to the full conversation with Meg McCallum below: 



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