- The Canadian Government
Downtown Winnipeg has the potential to show its beauty but instead, if anyone takes a walk just two minutes down Main St. they will be met with the sad reality of the neglect its residents have been facing. The lack of sympathy for Winnipeg's most vulnerable citizens, especially those with mental illness, needs to be addressed. Homeless or not, we all deserve to have our basic human needs met. The government is still taking your tax money, yet there’s no improvement in the lives of the people who really need that money. In the end, who is the government really going to serve if not their people?
Here at Sscope Inc., we work with some of the most vulnerable citizens to help get them off the streets in any means possible. We are focused towards providing a more sustainable way of empowering these individuals who 85% of identify as Indigenous, First Nations, Inuit, or Metis, and many are survivors of Residential Schools or are the descendants of survivors. We are a non-profit that helps homeless people, those living with mental illness and addiction by providing for them anything we can to help them move forward.
Our work is unique in the model in which it works wherein we don’t just provide people with basic necessities but rather we enable them to become self-sufficient by presenting them with stable housing, three meals a day, real employment, and real volunteer opportunities. We provide them with a place and opportunities to truly turn their life around. Anyone of us could have ended up in the same situation if we were faced with similar circumstances and hardships. Just because we got lucky does not mean our privilege should be taken for granted. This is why our goal is to empower everyone to be the best version of themselves.
We truly believe that change can only come when everyone is offered resources and support without any bias but unfortunately, the lack of funding for resources we are receiving from the government is making it increasingly hard to keep providing our services. On the 1st of June 2021, the funding we were receiving from “End Homelessness” stopped, and we had to resort to spending out of our own pocket because this is our community, our people. We can’t say no to feeding them or let them suffer because the government is unwilling to provide any aid.
As of 2 months ago, we have been relying on food from Winnipeg harvest, and donated food mostly in addition to sometimes having to go grocery shopping from the Sscope account, in order to continue feeding the community members who come to us. If we run out of funding or help from the community, the 45 residents that we serve will be left without a place to call home. Because of this we decided that after two months of operating completely on Sscope’s revenue, we unfortunately have to close our doors for the community members in need of our help, due to the lack of funding available to help us. The lack of care for the community here is truly heartbreaking especially knowing that Sscope Inc. is the only organization within miles that provides a public bathroom with all your hygiene needs. That too had an end put to it, since we have not received any funding for the past two months.
Regrettably we won’t be able to continue providing a public washroom, shower/laundry facilities, food services, or computers and phones for anyone who is not a resident at Sscope.
Since we are shutting down our services for the public community of homeless people of Winnipeg, we are essentially sending them back to the streets, where they will have to find other ways and/or places to get what they need. This will increase their chances of being exposed to health risks, dangerous activities, and be more prone to getting in trouble. In the end, this will put them back into the hands of the police and hospitals or any emergency services. With the services we were providing, not only are we helping our clients directly, we were also helping the city of Winnipeg. In the past year, the city of Winnipeg spent almost half of its annual budget on emergency services . These services include police, fire and paramedic services. A stay at a psychiatric hospital ranges from $700 to $1400 per day, many even go up to $2000. With taking into account that rarely are hospital stays for such cases just a day, here at Sscope we helped reduce the amount usually spent on those services and saved the system tons of money by providing our services at an extremely reasonable cost. Serving people at Sscope deterred them away from crime, as well as provided them with hope and support to live meaningful and fulfilling lives.
We can no longer keep saying this is not in my backyard, if we don’t help them who will? Many people do want to move forward just don’t have the means too.
Help us help them.
We, the undersigned, call upon our federal and provincial government to take actionable steps to provide the necessary support for non profits like Sscope Inc by providing:
- Stable funding and grants
- Subsidies to cover wages and expenses
- Better support for those who need to have emergency pick ups
The Fund Sscope- Stand up for the most vulnerable of our community. petition to The Canadian Government was written by Marah Ayoub and is in the category Human Rights at GoPetition.