By Promod Puri
“Canada is the best country in the world.” Alongside Vancouver prides itself with 1st, 2nd, or 3rd standing as the “most liveable place.” But underneath all these rewarding certifications, there are visible sites that take away some appeal from Vancouver’s alluring image.
The fast-developing metro, with its massive and lavish highrises, is also the home of homeless people. They mostly dwell under the very shadow of its thriving and affluent downtown core.
According to the latest figures, over 2200 people have been counted who don’t have shelter to live and sleep. The situation is more pathetic and deplorable in the harsh cold and rainy months of Vancouver.
Out of these numbers, as per the recent survey by the City, 23 percent are women and teenage girls. The same is the percentage of people who are 55 years of age or older.
The homelessness problem can be realized in the context of Vancouver’s chronic rental housing shortage. Poverty and homelessness go together. With small income or very low-income, affordable housing is just impossible to find.
Sidewalks, parks, and back alleys are the shelters places. Another accessible site for these destitute people in the front entrances of stores the moment their shutters are down at night. Cardboards are often the material for their makeshift dwellings. A few lucky ones carry tents.
Poor health with weather-related ailments is the result when these indigent souls are down with flu and pneumonia, etc. Then there is a mental issue as well.
Poverty and homelessness are the afflictions that go along with Vancouver’s worldwide reputation as the “most liveable city.” But not for these poor folks.