Ward 4 candidate Matt Marchand shares plans to handle homelessness

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A candidate for Windsor’s Ward 4 has revealed his concepts for coping with homelessness, psychological well being, and opioids within the metropolis.

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Former Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce president Matt Marchand on Thursday launched a 10-page technique to rapidly introduce comparatively low-cost options for social points whereas Windsor’s multi-year plan to handle homelessness extra completely takes form.

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“The message from the neighborhood is we have to act with a way of urgency. They’re in search of one thing accomplished proper now,” Marchand stated.

If elected, Marchand would push for a transitional storage locker pilot mission, providing folks experiencing homelessness a spot to maintain their belongings whereas in search of employment and stability. A number of cities world wide — from Lisbon, Portugal to Melbourne, Australia — have efficiently launched related applications.

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Marchand can be proposing a Wheels of Change pilot program in Windsor that may see folks experiencing homelessness employed to scrub up alleys, streets, and parking garages, transitioning them again into the workforce and lowering requires metropolis companies. San Diego adopted this system 4 years in the past, Marchand stated, and dozens of cities have since visited with hopes of replicating its success.

“The extra folks we’ve engaged within the workforce, the higher,” he stated. “The extra folks disengaged from the office is misplaced financial alternative.”

Candidate for Ward 4, Matt Marchand, is pictured during a press availability on Monmouth Road, on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022.
Candidate for Ward 4, Matt Marchand, is pictured throughout a press availability on Monmouth Highway, on Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022. Picture by Dax Melmer /Windsor Star

Whereas door knocking, Marchand stated he’s heard that homelessness is the No. 1 problem for a lot of residents and enterprise house owners.

“I perceive town’s doing a little issues, and that’s to be revered and to be applauded. That’s nice,” he stated. “However a five-year plan, I believe the neighborhood is in search of one thing extra pressing, and we’re getting this rolled out as quickly as we will.”

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In the case of neighborhood mental-health challenges, Marchand’s report recommends cross-training metropolis workers to acknowledge signs of psychological misery and have data of space companies to “create a greater and extra proactive” assist community, and cut back the variety of psychological health-related emergency calls. It additionally suggests advocating for elevated funding for psychological well being applications from the provincial and federal governments, amongst different issues.

On dependancy points, Marchand’s report requires improved information sharing between legislation enforcement, public well being, and different neighborhood stakeholders to enhance response plans and cut back hurt; and offering higher training to the broader neighborhood on methods to stop, acknowledge, and reply to overdoses.

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Marchand was president of the Windsor-Essex Regional Chamber of Commerce for six years and beforehand labored as a coverage assistant within the mayor’s workplace beneath former mayor Mike Hurst.

In 2018, Marchand ran for the mayor’s seat and got here in second to incumbent Drew Dilkens with about 35 per cent of the vote. He at present works as a monetary marketing consultant at IG Wealth Administration.

Within the coming weeks, Marchand stated he will likely be releasing extra coverage platforms and concepts. A number of the subjects he plans to handle embrace crime, neighborhood property, highway security, site visitors calming, and challenges with Memorial Park.

Additionally within the working for Ward 4 are John Abati, Edy Haddad, Gregory Heil, Mark McKenzie, Jake Rondot, Kristen Siapas, and Patric Sutherland. Incumbent councillor Chris Holt is working for mayor.

Election Day is Oct. 24.




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