London facing crisis with city's homeless problem
LONDON, ONT. -- With the bone-chilling month of February upon us in the middle of a pandemic, some homeless advocates say too many people are still living on the streets of London.
“It's a crisis in London no question,” says Jon DeActis, with the Salvation Army’s Centre of Hope. “All the shelters are full, we’ve got new units with the WISH Program and we still have people on the street.”
Peter Rozeluk says it’s the same with Mission Services of London. “Absolutely and it's not just men and women, it's families too, our family shelter is still full.”
DeActis adds, “Everybody is doing the best that they can and we have gaps, we don't have enough places.”
Like everything else COVID-19 doesn’t help matters, “Not only do you deal with the cold weather and the normal everyday needs but this year COVID has really thrown a wrench into everything so the cost of things is going up.” says Rozeluk.
The pandemic has also affected fundraising efforts for social agencies. The 10th annual Coldest Night of the Year walk is now spread over the month of February with participants doing it from home with social distancing.
“This fundraiser yes it's for Mission Services but we work with a lot of other agencies in town, we cannot do this by ourselves.” says Rozeluk..
Both Rozeluk and DeActis say we all need to do our part as a community and show more compassion for those in need, especially at this time of the year, with DeActis adding, “You know if you see somebody on the street that's struggling then talk to them… I think there are things that we can do, each and every day we all have a role in this.”