Everybody deserves food, place to sleep, treatments for illnesses, and someplace to call home.
Unfortunately, due to the rapidly changing economic status, unaffordable housing situations and lack of support or lack of access to support, Canada is a shelter for thousands of ‘homeless’. The following infographic from ‘The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016’ (Stephen Gaetz et al., 2016) briefly represent the big picture of homelessness in Canada.
Figure source: (Stephen Gaetz et al., 2016) Page 5
Homelessness comes in hand with poor physical and mental health issues caused by poverty, lack of job opportunities, discrimination, marginalization, neglect, stigma, abuse, stress, addictions, and violence among many other factors (Kidd et al., 2018). The most vulnerable populations for homelessness in Canada are youth, veterans and Indigenous people, LGBTQ2S, immigrants or refugees, and visible minorities (Stephen Gaetz et al., 2016) suggesting the need for more diverse and strategic planning to address homelessness for each population, as their needs and circumstances may vary.
Additionally, managing homelessness costs billions of dollars annually. Therefore, local, provincial and national stakeholders including the Canadian Government and non-profit organizations have collaborated to end homelessness across Canada.
A few of the successful projects to support homeless individuals and work towards preventing and ending homelessness in Canada include
- Housing First (Gaetz et al., 2013)
- The 20,000 Homes Campaign (Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, 2018)
- A Way Home (A Way Home coalition, 2018)
- The National Housing Strategy – A place to call home (placetocallhome.ca, 2017)
It is my kind request to you that contribute to prevent and end the homelessness in Canada. Imagine yourself without a home, food, clothes or support. Feed at least one person. Donate your usable clothes, food, and other necessary items for people who seek shelter in homeless shelters in your city. One person at a time or one meal at a time, we can contribute to this noble cause.
Note that the views and opinions expressed here are those of the VR Medical & Science Writers.
A Way Home coalition. (2018). Ending youth homelessness. A Way Home. Retrieved from http://awayhome.ca/youth-homelessness-in-canada/ending-youth-homelessness/
Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness. (2018). The 20,000 homes campaign. Retrieved from http://www.20khomes.ca/
Gaetz, S., Dej, E., Richter, T., & Redman, M. (2016). 4. Homelessness and diversity: Addressing the needs of key populations The state of homelessness in canada 2016 (pp. 43-57). Canada.
Gaetz, S., Gulliver, T., Richter, T., & Redman, M. (2016). The state of homelessness in canada 2014: Canadian Homelessness Research Network.
Gaetz, S., Scott, F., & Gulliver, T. (2013). Housing first in canada: Supporting communities to end homelessness. Toronto, Canada: Canada Homelessness Research Network.
Kidd, S., Slesnick, N., Frederick, T., Karabanow, J., & Gaetz, S. (2018). Mental health and addiction interventions for youth experiencing homelessness. Torontoa, Canada: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press.
placetocallhome.ca. (2017). Canada’s national housing strategy: A place to call home. Retrieved from https://www.placetocallhome.ca/pdfs/Canada-National-Housing-Strategy.pdf