CBC: This Ontario man took in a homeless acquaintance — and found out just how hard it is to find help

Rebecca Zandbergen · CBC News · Posted: May 16, 2023 5:06 AM MDT 

Retrived from https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/london/access-services-homeless-unhoused-1.6843727

When Jason Hastings opened up the doors of his 1,000-square foot home to an old childhood acquaintance who had been sleeping rough in a London, Ont., park, Hastings didn’t anticipate he’d stay for eight weeks.

“We thought it’d be maybe a couple weeks, a series of phone calls and connections to get him in touch with the folks that were able to help,” said Hastings, 30, who runs his own residential construction company.

“We’ve gotten nowhere, so it’s really frustrating.”

Hastings’s simple plan to find him help after a short stay has come up empty. Amid estimates of nearly 2,000 unhoused people in London, his attempts to access aid from numerous organizations has been confusing and frustrating, he said.

In and out of the rain

It began about two months ago when Shawn Mitchell, 25, reached out to Hastings after a rainstorm soaked his tent and his belongings during a stay in Basil Grover Park in the city’s south.

He needed help.

Shawn Mitchell, 25, of London, Ont., has been without a stable home for two years.
Shawn Mitchell, 25, of London, Ont., has been without a stable home for two years. (Rebecca Zandbergen/CBC News)

“We brought him here for a shower,” said Hastings. “We just couldn’t put him back. He was just too vulnerable to be on his own with no care so that’s how we ended up here.”

Mitchell has had a difficult life.

He has fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) and it’s been two years since he’s had stable housing. Though he has family in the city, they are unable to provide him with a suitable home, said Mitchell.

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