Audit Reveals Dollars and Dysfunction

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Mike Smyth Show, CKNW May 11, 2023

The recent BC Housing Forensic Audit reveals both the outrageous billions of dollars being spent and the failure of the current, dysfunctional SRO approach that benefits those influencing addiction, mental health and homelessness policy, Dr Julian Somers notes on the Mike Smyth CKNW show.

Government ignores a proven approach that helps people with no greater dollar cost. Instead, Dr. Somers says we are condemning people to a failed “mental health system” that is basically Single Resident Occupancy (SRO) housing. They migrate to our downtown urban centres (and SROs) in Canada because they have no community supports where they live. The only people benefiting are those who have “influence over our tax dollars.”

SRO settings have all kinds of harmful predation: sex, drugs, theft are rampant, and have extraordinarily destructive impacts on people. Vancouver has one of the worst housing models in Canada based on a national research study. This failed model is costly, at $55K per person per year, via revolving door courts, corrections, and hospitals.

Better choices are available. People need support and resources in their home communities. Use of private sector apartments in mixed, diverse populations is proven. When mental health institutions like Riverview closed, communities didn’t get the local supports promised.

Evidence shows the vast majority of those addicted and homeless will thrive and become members of our community.

Hear more on this compelling interview via button below, 16:23 minute mark. Send a message to your politicians to change their disastrous drug policy course here.

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