This article from the Globe and Mail is about how Bay Street (Toronto’s financial district) and charities are calling on the government to provide a “recession relief fund” for agencies that help people. (The Bay Street crowd was behind the call because they realize that due to the fall in stock prices, they can’t keep up their normal level of charitable giving.)
What caught my eye were comments about the homeless — at a time when more people than ever will likely be seeking shelter:
John Andras, senior vice president of Research Capital, has been doing work on behalf of the homeless since 1993.
“I was talking with other advocates about three weeks ago about what we were seeing out on the street, and we were getting more and more concerned about the fact that funding levels appear to be dropping, the private sector is under extreme stress, both individually and through foundations and corporations, and that the governments have yet to announce their intentions.”
Homeless shelters are already so full there isn’t even time or space to fumigate for bedbugs, he said.
It’s a small comment, but a significant one: it’s not just the cost of bed bug treatment that we have to worry about, or the difficulty of getting effective treatment; already full homeless shelters also have a logistical problem in that they can’t shut down while they get treatment.
Bed bugs can strike anyone, they aren’t caused by poverty. But you can be sure that the recession is going to make it harder for many people and agencies to curb the spread. This means even more people suffering and wasting more of their funds on bed bugs.
Rather than cutting funding for bed bug-related projects, as Cincinnati did, we need such funding more than ever.