Statement of Support for The Forgotten 519

STATEMENT OF SUPPORT for The Forgotten 519: Calling for ending street homelessness in London, Ontario, treating all people experiencing housing deprivation with dignity, and preventing premature deaths of people who need housing and healthcare.

Indwell is a charity that creates supportive housing in communities across southern and southwestern Ontario. We work to develop long-term solutions to address the need for deeply affordable housing and accessible health care and give support to people as they journey out of homelessness towards health and stability. Indwell is working in many Ontario communities to achieve a vision of hope and homes for all.

Homeless people who live in London are Londoners, not strangers.

The sad and appalling scenes of street homelessness and needless suffering we see in London can change. Achieving that change requires a deep commitment to the belief that Londoners who experience homelessness are fully human, worthy of respect and of having their dignity affirmed as residents of a city.

We stand in support of our community members who embrace Londoners in the margins as our neighbours, worthy of having a place within our city. We also recognize the impact that systemic barriers have on frontline workers in addition to those experiencing homelessness and the hopelessness that those barriers reinforce.

We support the efforts of our colleagues who work in close relationships with people for whom finding any shelter or space to eat, sleep or care for themselves is a daily challenge. We stand beside healthcare and outreach workers who care deeply about Londoners who need life-sustaining and life-saving interventions to prevent needless, premature deaths.

We align with The Forgotten 519 to look deeply at our practices regarding the lives of Londoners without shelter and call on ourselves and our partners, including the City of London, to correct, change or improve our individual and collective actions. In community, we commit to change that which causes harm and promote that which brings healing and health to the most vulnerable Londoners.

This fall, Indwell will complete construction of Embassy Commons, which will bring hope and a home to 72 people in London’s Old East Village. In the process of construction, we have witnessed of a level of despair and street level homelessness we have not seen in other communities. London is in a crisis and many of our tenants and staff, who have connections to friends who are homeless or colleagues who provide outreach, watch this crisis worsen with deep anguish.

We are committed to working with our partners in healthcare, outreach, and housing to implement the long-term solutions that will see people coming out of homelessness and into a space where recovery and healing can begin.

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