Canadians want action on homelessness - TDRC FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 14 Jul 1999 19:26:28 -0700 (PDT)


FWD

Toronto Disaster Relief Committee

Media release - July 6, 1999

New national poll reveals:
Canadians want government action on homelessness

Homelessness ranks among the top five issues of concern for Canadians,
according
to new data from Pollara, a national polling company.  "Clearly,
homelessness is
neither a forgotten issue, nor a non-priority," says Michael Marzolini,
Chairman
of Pollara Inc., in a column announcing the poll results. Pollara is a major
national polling company in Canada, and conducts research for the federal
Liberal Party (Canada's governing party), among other clients. In fact, the
Pollara research shows that Canadians are more concerned about homelessness
than
unemployment, the value of the Canadian dollar, the national debt, the economy,
crime or Canada-U.S. relations.

"Homelessness is robbing countless women, men and children of their health and
even their lives," says Cathy Crowe of the Toronto Disaster Relief Committee
(TDRC).  "The Pollara research confirms that the vast majority of Canadians are
deeply concerned about this growing National Disaster and also that they are
looking to federal, provincial and municipal politicians to be part of the
solution."

More than half of those surveyed by Pollara said that they expect homelessness
to get worse before it gets better.  "Canadians see life in Canada
improving for
all Canadians, that is, except for the homeless," says Marzolini.

Growing concern about homelessness matched with growing pessimism about
improvements has moved homelessness "near the top of the list" of Pollara's
Pressure Index, which measures the comparative public pressure on government to
take action.

"Further research on homelessness finds Canadians not concerned about which
level of government deals with the problem as long as it is dealt with," says
Marzolini.  "Rather, they view homelessness with some urgency, and wait eagerly
for one of their three levels of government to show leadership."

The TDRC started a  year ago to create a strong local and national voice in the
campaign to end homelessness. Last fall, the TDRC launched its National
Disaster
Declaration.  More recently, TDRC has launched the One Percent Solution
campaign, which calls on all levels of government in Canada to double their
spending on housing and homelessness initiatives.

TDRC has been endorsed by about 400 national and local organizations, including
the city councils of Toronto, Nepean, Vancouver and Victoria and the regional
councils of Ottawa-Carleton, Durham and Rideau.

For information:

Cathy Crowe  - 416-703-8482, x117
Kira Heineck  - 416-703-8482, x411
Michael Shapcott - 416-366-1711, x224

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