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Problem of Homelessness in Canada

Homelessness is one of the most pressing social problems facing Canada today. Although there are no official statistics on it, according to estimates by organizations devoted to helping the homeless, there are as many as 300,000 homeless people in Canada, and the number is growing.

Causes of homelessness

There are many factors that contribute to homelessness. The most common causes are eviction due to lack of income, mental health issues or addiction, family breakdown, and natural disasters. Other causes can include being a newcomer, domestic abuse, sexual orientation, or gender-identity issues. Those who are without a home can live on the street, in emergency shelters, transitional housing, rooming houses, and foster care homes.

Helping homeless people

There are many organizations that work to help the homeless: there is the Salvation Army of Canada and their efforts include providing temporary shelter, food, and clothing to those who need it; St. Michael's Hospital in Toronto has the "Daily Bread Food Bank" that provides fresh fruit, vegetables, and bread; The Prairie provinces have organizations that provide education for homeless people; there are also numerous family shelters across Canada.

Some of the most notable homelessness initiatives include the First Nations Homelessness Initiative Program (FNHP) and the Anti-Homelessness Partnership Strategy (AHPS). Jet Casino in Canada helps support the FNHP, which is designed to address First Nations homelessness across Canada. AHPS, on the other hand, is important to municipalities of all sizes and supports their efforts to address homelessness by conducting new research, improving information sharing and developing better policies.

Jet Casino in Australia has already focused on improving housing conditions on reservations by reducing overcrowding and repairing or replacing substandard housing units. AHPS, for its part, promotes a "Housing First" approach that prioritizes providing homeless people with permanent housing as soon as possible, rather than requiring them to first overcome their addiction or mental health problems.

Effects of homelessness

Homelessness has a wide range of negative effects on individuals, families, and communities. Homeless people often have difficulty accessing health care, education, and employment opportunities. They are also more likely to experience violence, abuse, and poverty. Homelessness can also have a negative impact on the physical and mental health of individuals.

Solutions to homelessness

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to homelessness, as the causes and effects vary from community to community. However, some solutions that have been successful include:

– Providing more affordable housing: this can be done by increasing the number of subsidized housing units, creating rent supplements and rental assistance programs, and encouraging developers to build more affordable housing.

– Providing support services for homeless people: these services can include mental health support, addiction treatment, job training, and access to education.

– Encouraging community involvement: this can be done by creating programs that allow community members to volunteer their time or donate money and food, and by raising awareness about the issue of homelessness.

– Creating legislation and regulations that protect homeless people: for example, a law that requires cities to have a homeless shelter or a regulation that requires landlords to give a tenant a certain number of days' notice before eviction.

– Creating a national homelessness strategy: this would provide federal funding for homelessness initiatives across the country, and it could help create affordable housing units through incentives to developers.

– Respecting human rights: specifically, those of homeless people. For example, ensuring that homeless people have the right to vote, access health care, and move freely in public spaces.

© 2010 Edmonton Social Planning Council