Card­ston res­i­dent’s pe­ti­tion re­gard­ing home­less­ness gets at­ten­tion, action

Prairie Post (West Edition) - - Front Page - BY HEATHER CAMERON

Card­ston res­i­dent Tyann Leavitt re­cently started a pe­ti­tion to cre­ate a home­less shel­ter and ad­dic­tion cen­tre in Card­ston. The in­ten­tion was for the lo­cal town coun­cil to see it and take ap­pro­pri­ate action. It worked.

“The pe­ti­tion was started to­wards town coun­cil to give them a push they needed to take proper steps to help­ing with the home­less,” Leavitt said. “A shel­ter of some kind is needed.”

Leavitt felt prompted to ini­ti­ate the pe­ti­tion be­cause she was see­ing post af­ter post on so­cial me­dia about how peo­ple are scared of even see­ing the home­less on the street.

“I had had enough, since the home­less are hu­man too,” Leavitt said. “I de­cided in­stead of just com­ment­ing on this, I'm go­ing to ac­tu­ally do some­thing.”

As of Oct. 3, Leavitt de­clared the pe­ti­tion a vic­tory, be­cause she has talked with mem­bers of Card­ston Town Coun­cil and they are tak­ing steps to help with these is­sues: the goal of the pe­ti­tion.

Ever since Leavitt was lit­tle, she remembers see­ing less for­tu­nate peo­ple hang­ing out at usual hang-outs and it has only pro­gres­sively be­come worse through­out the years.

“It is never good for any­one to be in the sit­u­a­tion that they are, but lately the mis­in­for­ma­tion and ha­tred I have been see­ing is mak­ing it worse,” Leavitt said.

Leavitt says that there are peo­ple in Card­ston who don't see home­less in­di­vid­u­als or ad­dicts as peo­ple and that she sees that as a very large is­sue and is where her “big­gest is­sue is per­son­ally.”

Ad­di­tion­ally, Leavitt has brought the is­sue to the at­ten­tion of Jeff Shaw, the CAO for the Town of Card­ston.

Shaw not only knows about the pe­ti­tion, Leavitt says that he is happy see part of the com­mu­nity band­ing to­gether for this.

“We de­cided our main is­sue is mis­in­for­ma­tion,” Leavitt said. “We have been com­mu­ni­cat­ing on and off about it since. The at­ten­tion the pe­ti­tion has re­ceived has been wholly pos­i­tive. Everyone has been stat­ing what a good idea it is for this town to have some kind of cen­tre for the less for­tu­nate.”

Leavitt says Card­ston Town Coun­cil has put in fund­ing for a Friend­ship Cen­tre and the next step for her is en­cour­ag­ing everyone to make do­na­tions to the Town so this can be­come a re­al­ity.

The Town of Card­ston is also in talks about "fo­cused com­mu­nity drives," where a cou­ple fam­i­lies would be the fo­cus and the com­mu­nity would sup­ply what they can. Ad­di­tion­ally, the Moses Lake Shel­ter also needs do­na­tions. Leavitt also says rep­re­sen­ta­tive from The Blood Tribe are also work­ing with Al­berta Health on three key com­po­nents for im­prove­ments: more ap­point­ments be­ing set up; the Kainai Food Fund, which needs do­na­tions; and a trial for tiny homes.

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