Iqalungmiut talk homelessness


Residents of Iqaluit called in Tuesday night to a special phone-in show on homelessness in Nunavut’s capital.

Estimates of the numbers of homeless people in Iqaluit, including those with no permanent address, are as high as several hundred people.

The feed-back from the call-in show will be included in a report commissioned by the municipality of Iqaluit.

About ten callers called during the two-hour program, which was broadcast in French, English and Inuktitut.

One caller said it’s time to take action, rather than just talk about the problem of homelessness. He suggested the empty military barracks outside of town could be used to house hundreds of homeless people.

“Instead of having a military institution that’s closed up and costs three-quarters of a million dollars to maintain, I think that money should be nicely and wisely used and help people who are really in need,” he said.

Other callers noted the lack of affordable housing for low-income families in Iqaluit. Some mentioned the phenomenon of the “hidden homeless” – women and children who live with relatives but have no permanent address.

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