Friday, 30 September 2016

The Homeless Hub: What is homelessness?

The Homeless Hub: What is homelessness?

"It is important to distinguish the individual and personal experiences of those who lose their housing, from homelessness as a broader societal problem.

The problem of homelessness and housing exclusion refers to the failure of society to ensure that adequate systems, funding and support are in place so that all people, even in crisis situations, have access to housing. The goal of ending homelessness is to ensure housing stability, which means people have a fixed address and housing that is appropriate (affordable, safe, adequately maintained, accessible and suitable in size), and includes required services as needed (supportive), in addition to income and supports. (CHRN, 2012: 1)

This distinction is important because while individuals and families will undoubtedly continue to experience crises that result in their becoming homeless, the problem of homelessness is something that we, as a society, can address. Canada has long been home to people experiencing poverty, and homeless people have always needed charitable services such as emergency shelters and soup kitchens. Yet, homelessness as a social ‘problem’ has emerged only in the last two decades. Changes in our economy and housing market, as well as significant shifts in policies addressing poverty, have contributed to the homelessness crisis across the country."


Homelessness is lack of housing and the solution to homelessness is to give people homes to live in (as opposed to shifting them one hostel to another).

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