Tommorrow!!!!!Prison Is Not a House Program Save The CSUMB

11 Dec

Wed. Dec. 12th 4:30 PM
1575 Homer Watson Blvd Kitchener (Grand Valley Institue)

Prison is Not a Housing Program!
Poverty is Violence Against Women
Making Links and Breaking Cycles
Stop the Criminalization and Incarceration of the Poor

Grand Valley Institution for Women

The cancellation of the Community Start-Up and Maintenance Benefit will throw poor people further into cycles of violence, isolation, criminalization, institutionalization and incarceration. In particular, women who are experiencing violence in the home will have fewer options to leave safely. Women who have been incarcerated, overwhelmingly for issues related to poverty and exploitation, will face yet another barrier to transitioning back into the community without the necessary economic supports. More women will end up on the streets, facing violence in the community and at the hands of police. More women labelled or identifying as struggling with mental health will be forced into hospitals and prisons.

Being homeless, under-housed or precariously housed puts already vulnerable social assistance recipients at risk of increased police interaction. We live in a racist, misogynist, classist and ‘mad’-hating world. The police exist to protect this system.

Homelessness is linked with criminalized behaviours and homeless people are often members of criminalized communities.

The CSUMB is essentially a homelessness prevention benefit and is accessed by 16,000 folks in Ontario, every month. As the Province cuts funding to this mandatory benefit, we see $766 million spent on Kitchener’s mega courthouse.

Provincial funding to our Regional Police is among the highest in the Province. We also see the Grand River Hospital’s Psychiatric Unit expansion as a foreboding sign. This expansion was desired by psych consumers for sometime, but only with the cuts to OW and ODSP food and housing benefits do we see the Provincial dollars, expanding the options for warehousing the nouveau-homeless.

On the other end of criminalization in a punitive system, folks absolutely require the CSUMB to re-establish themselves once being released from prison and psych units.
Most people are thrown out of prison with no money and are not assisted with re-integration. OW is the primary resource for a majority of people leaving prisons. Social Assistance rates are so disgustingly low that one cannot afford to pay the mandatory last month’s rent required to gain housing. People leaving prison will be living on the streets. They will experience violence in many forms, only to again experience it at the hands of police and state, as they are rearrested and thrown into jail.


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