Kristen Holinsky, Ottawa Citizen:
Last week, the City of Ottawa announced it will close the Forward Avenue Family Shelter, effective Dec. 15. This shelter closure will affect 14 families with children, interrupting their school year and displacing these families from their neighbourhood. Forward Avenue, an old school repurposed as an emergency family shelter, is at the end of its life cycle, and repairs would be costly. This is a wakeup call. As a city, we have seen a 33-per-cent rise in family shelter use since the adoption of the city’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan in 2014. In 2017, the City placed 182 families in motels. Ottawa is facing a homelessness crisis, fuelled by pressures on housing affordability, just for a start.