On February 5th Edmonton City Council voted to open the Central Light Rail Transit (LRT) station 24 hrs during this cold snap. This came after public outcry and a motion by Councilor Pacquette to open the station despite Homeward trusts declaration that the Shelter system is equipped to handle the needs of the people seeking shelter.
This claim continues to be problematic for a number of reasons.
1) The numbers of those living on the streets have long been protested as inaccurate so we can not know for sure that there are in fact enough beds.
2) Many of those living on the streets can not or will not access the Shelters for a number of reasons. Such as, they have been violated or abused in the past in the Shelters, they are not allowed to bring their belongings in with them, they are not co-ed and hetero partners are separated for the night, Queer, POC, and other marginalized persons are at great risk discrimination and so on...
3) The shelters for Women are often full despite great need and folks are turned away regularly, returning to dangerous situations or the street.
Additionally, as a person who phones 211 almost weekly, sometimes the wait is well over an hour. Where should one wait for these services in the meantime?
The city has asked for an official plan by June to address future cold spells and upcoming winters.
Sign this petition and tell the Mayor, Don Iveson and city council that we want our LRT stations open to the vulnerable during all future cold snaps in our city. AND that we want free transit during these times to move folks to the open station(s).