When you don’t have a home to keep you warm… is going to jail your only option?

365 photo blog (1 of 1)-2

ISO 800 35mm f/8.0 1/100 secs Day 4 “Weather”

The answer for many of my clients at the correctional center is “YES”.

On my way to the correctional centre today I had a spare 20 minutes before the start of shift so I turned right instead of left.  Toward the bay instead of the jail– my favorite place.  I might just start going there every morning I am making good time.  There is a big rock wall to prevent the road from being washed away during hightide.  This stream of running water runs from what I can only assume is a river or lake.  The ground is covered in snow.  All you can hear is the waves crashing and the sound of water streaming toward the open water.  For me this is heaven; but for many of my patients living within the elements of the cold (and unpredictable) East Coast is their reality– whether they like it or not.  This weather inspired photo has me thinking about the (lack of) housing crisis we are currently facing in New Brunswick.  Homelessness is a real issue– lack of stable housing has individuals committing crimes just to come to jail.  This is problematic.

Many of the clients I serve have a triad of issues and I think it is important to recognize that failing to treat all three points leads to recidivism and reincarceration.

HOMELESSNESS *** ADDICTION *** MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

But, in my opinion, homelessness is at the root of the problem.  Without four walls and a roof, addiction treatment and counselling render useless— most of the time.  We still pull out all the stops and invest in our clients everyday–using all of our contacts and resources but… often we see them again in 3-6 months back behind the walls of the correctional centre.  What is the solution to the housing crisis?  What are other communities doing to serve this population?  I think it is time to get creative and come up with a solution.

If you have some ideas let me know what they are.  If you know of some local resources or contacts let me know.  As a community– together– we can actually make a difference.

Thanks for reading

H

 

 

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