City Homelessness Solutions


Winnipeg, Man. (September 27, 2022) - Below you will find my preliminary mayoral commitments to address homelessness and bus shelter living in Winnipeg. There are a few new policies, along with ones which I made as a councilor. New ideas and input from stakeholder groups are always welcome. There is no one solution. The issue is multifaceted, different approaches from multiple angles are required - yet, all approaches must be coordinated.


Platform Commitments:


1. Boosting the resources to allow for collaborative meetings between various anti-poverty stakeholder groups


2. Increasing the availability of low cost programming for youth, to keep youth away from being recruited into criminal activities


3. Establishing Safe Spaces within underutilized City facilities


4. Working with reputable groups like Homes for Heroes, Main Street Project, Siloam Mission, St. Boniface Street Links, and others to establish suitable housing options for those who try to live in bus shelters


5. Expanding the Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis (ARCC) program, where plain clothed police officers respond to mental health calls, alongside a specialized mental health clinician (Winnipeg Shared Health).


6. Prioritize building permits, occupancy permits and land approvals for rent-geared-to-income housing developments and non-profits, bound by legal commitments to affordability from the property owners.


7. Cut property taxes for qualifying non-profit housing services through grants linked to the amount paid in property taxes.


8. Use available Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) funding, to purchase temporary accommodation trailers for residents who prefer not to use existing shelters - such as those who are residing in bus shelters. Placing the trailers on available city land, at locations and in settings as agreed upon by homelessness stakeholder groups and with direct input from the resident population. With provincial social services staff available to assist in finding permanent housing and any necessary support services.


9. Establish an inclusive advisory group consisting of all stakeholders to drive a multi-faceted approach to poverty reduction and improvements to community safety and health. The City and Council must be willing to work together with all levels of government, indigenous governments, and all stakeholders including residents, poverty reduction experts, and local business leaders.


Townhall Conversation with Marion Willis - Executive Director of St. Boniface Street Links:




Detailed Platform:


I have taken a strong position on Council to advocate for better housing solutions for our most vulnerable residents. This includes requesting a review of vacant City buildings to be shared with poverty reduction organizations. I was the first Councillor to suggest the use of City property to establish community safe spaces (which many others are now calling for):


https://www.kevinklein.ca/post/a-new-way-of-thinking-for-empty-space


I was able to work closely with the Homes for Heroes organization to help them succeed in the uphill task of navigating City politics to gain the ability to purchase land for their new development project. This project is geared towards addressing homelessness issues amongst the veteran population.


Details at this link: https://winnipegsun.com/news/news-news/plans-for-veterans-village-officially-unveiled





I have strongly advocated for emergency public meetings of Council to address transit system safety, which includes the use of City bus shelters as temporary homeless encampments. We need to address safety for both transit system riders and for those living in the bus shelters. We need to restore some common level of dignity for the places people refer to as their home.




https://www.kevinklein.ca/post/klein-calls-for-special-meeting-on-transit-safety

As Mayor, I would have the ability to direct and ensure that these special meetings on homelessness, poverty reduction, and community/transit safety occur.


There will be no more delays. From day one as Mayor I will book these meetings and invite all stakeholders including: poverty reduction experts and organizations, public health experts, residents, community advocates, local businesses, members of the police/fire/paramedic/transit unions and anyone else who has interest to attend and collaboratively work to develop solutions, and take the responsibility to implement them.


The link below is a frank conversation I had on this early in 2021 with Jamil Mahood - Executive Director of the Main Street Project - on overall poverty reduction strategies:



I have also taken steps and made a motion to increase the accessibility of those experiencing assaults and violence to attend City Council meetings anonymously, so that we can give them a voice, learn from them and find solutions directly from those impacted. See this motion here:


https://www.kevinklein.ca/post/providing-victims-safe-access





There is a solution to these poverty and homelessness issues. It is through collaborative teamwork towards commonly agreed on poverty reduction goals.


As I mentioned in my campaign launch speech, I plan to establish an inclusive advisory group consisting of all stakeholders to drive a multi-faceted approach to poverty reduction and improvements to community safety and health.


We – the public service, business leaders, poverty experts, and residents will adopt a shared vision and a shared sense of responsibility to building a better Winnipeg.


The City and Council must be willing to work together with all levels of government, indigenous governments, and all stakeholders including residents, poverty reduction experts, and local business leaders. I have tried to pursue this objective as a Councillor and will have more influence over directing it as the Mayor.


On August 25th, I announced an example of our new Fresh Approach to doing things: a mutli-stakeholder collaboration to address one area of homelessness alongside Marion Willis, Street Links and the St. Boniface Business community. Real action that will help our vulnerable residents and help address crime in our city.


https://www.kevinklein.ca/post/klein-promises-fresh-approach


Another innovative suggestion was announced on September 27th, to use available Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) funding, to purchase temporary accommodation trailers for residents who prefer not to use existing shelters - such as those who are residing in bus shelters. Placing the trailers on available city land, at locations and in settings as agreed upon by homelessness stakeholder groups and with direct input from the resident population. With provincial social services staff available to assist in finding permanent housing and any necessary support services.

As well as expanding the Alternative Response to Citizens in Crisis (ARCC) program, where plain clothed police officers respond to mental health calls, alongside a specialized mental health clinician (Winnipeg Shared Health).




In the news:


https://winnipeg.ctvnews.ca/we-need-to-do-something-councillor-calls-on-colleagues-to-help-fund-main-street-project-s-van-patrol-1.5372949


https://winnipegsun.com/news/news-news/plans-for-veterans-village-officially-unveiled


https://winnipegsun.com/news/local-news/winnipeg-votes-klein-launches-plan-to-address-homelessness-in-the-city