“It’s about time we’re heard” says today’s protest organizer

Protest signs being created by AAMHA members

Addictions and Mental Health Advocates will be joined by community members and other support groups this afternoon, in front of City Hall.

“We will be there before the council members show up and [there] when they leave,” states Donna DeSimon, Founder of AAMHA and one of the organizers.

Protest signs being created by AAMHA members provided by AAMHA.

“It’s about time we’re heard, this protest is about the barriers that people suffering from addiction and mental health issues [face in] attempting to get help and how we need funding to provide what is needed to help them,” she continues.

“Our City Hall should be lobbying relentlessly to acquire this funding, not lobbying constantly for money for an 8 mill plaza. Could you imagine if the same effort was put in, where we might be?”

Both CHAAT and SOYA have committed some members to the rally. The public is also expected and encouraged to show up.

“If you are concerned about the situation we are facing, the crime, the seemingly endless overdoses, come, spend time with us today and make your voices heard,” encourages DeSimon.

The protest is planned for 3:30 p.m. at City Hall.

Stay with SaultOnline as we will be there covering the event live to our Facebook.


  1. AMcG, Dufour knew and spoke the truth when he was running for council and shortly thereafter but it didn’t take him long to fall in line with the rest of the followers of the Mayor and Staff. Sorry Luke, but that is the way I see it. Sometimes change isn’t a good thing.

  2. Ask why none of these Government legal pot shops are helping with the problems we are facing? the profits made in our city alone could easily provide everything we need to help with this Addiction problem and help provide the low fixed income with affordable housing.

  3. See what Luke Dufour (the one that runs a construction company) has to say regarding homeless (many of whom have addiction and/or mental health issues) and providing them a place to live in an article from yesterday called “Cabins approved for Kingston’s homeless; would it work in the Sault?” on sootoday.

    • Dufour speaks the truth. I don’t know him from a hole in the ground but what he says makes sense. Did you read his comments? He stated that these structures aren’t up to building codes, if changes to the code are going to be made to allow these then other changes can be made to existing structures to fit within these ‘changes’ that would newly be allowed. There’s no water, no toilet, no lights, no heat. It’s literally a tent type situation with solid walls and a roof.

      If we give these addicts a place to live before addressing the root of the problem, it’s a band-aid solution, designed to fail. These ‘homes’ would be destroyed, contaminated and filled with drugs and its paraphernalia.

      These groups (AAMHA, CHAAT & SOYA) want lobbying for mental health & addiction treatments, detox beds, rehab treatment and beds.

      The individual that they cited as an example:
      “There’s a gentleman that’s on our team right now, he’s 63, and he gets very frustrated when young people who are workers in the shelter system are telling him what to do and when to do it. He said ‘if I can have my own space, control my door and comings and goings I’d have more independence and I’d have more dignity.”

      This makes it sound like he doesn’t like being told when the lights are to go out, when to shower, that food is only served between such-and-such a time etc. He wants to control his life but by the situation he’s in, he can’t and so he complains. (I could be wrong but that article makes it sound like he’s a whiny complainer about ‘millennials’.)

      AAMHA, CHATT and SOYA want something available so that when someone finally says “I need/want help/to get clean”, there IS somewhere to go. And THEN we can start to look at other supports as this initiative in Kingston for when they get through treatment.

      • I read his comments, hence my referral to the article…

        There is so much that you and dufour don’t understand about mental health issues, addictions and homelessness, which doesn’t necessarily equate with being addicted to anything.

        “If we give these addicts a place to live before addressing the root of the problem, it’s a band-aid solution, designed to fail. These ‘homes’ would be destroyed, contaminated and filled with drugs and its paraphernalia.”
        This is an assumption and prove it!!

        I know it’s a waste of time speaking with people like you and him, always one-sided, refusing to see other possibilities. Narrow-minded.

        89 Hudson (you know the property that was bought from Porco with our taxes at a ridiculously inflated price) could be a place to put these microhomes..create a community where they feel safe and aren’t lonely. The area could be easily patrolled.

        Solar panels for electricity and the city could help with plumbing but first let’s get that $8+million dollar plaza built..that’s so much more important than the lives of struggling human beings.

        Oh look, https://globalnews.ca/news/8310552/ontario-program-where-homeless-now-have-homes/

        Big thumbs up to Kitchener and Hamilton!

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