Cardston resident’s petition regarding homelessness gets attention, action
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.