Homelessness

Homelessness includes everything from rough sleeping, rural and urban, through semi-permanent and emergency shelters to couch-surfing and living with no fixed address.

Hot Air: Two Kinds Of Deadly Poison Killing The Most Vulnerable Unhoused

In a recent publication, The Harvard Political Review details two forms pernicious ill-health that is killing increasing numbers of global citizens including Americans. Climate change is one. The other...

Will Finland Carry Through On Its Plan To End Homelessness By 2027?

The article linked to this post is about Finland's remarkable achievement in reducing homelessness. The success lies in its country-wide adoption of Housing First, an evidence-based program to end...

How Homelessness Squeezes Life Out Of You

Reading the article attached to this post might put you in mind of banging your head against a brick wall. The article is about a project to calculate mortality rates...

Unhoused? Why Shiver When Warm Emergency Shelters Await You?

City councils bring their own values and concerns to their decision-making. When it comes to the homeless, do those values, well-meaning or no, tend to mirror the opinions of...

Fresno’s Unhoused Saved(?) From Toxic Slop Twixt Cup And Lip

Unhoused people are using the margins of California's waterways for temporary accommodation. Those familiar with historic settlement and land use patterns in North America will appreciate the use of...

When Paving Paradise Means Putting Up A Parking Lot, It’s Not Easy

"They paved paradise and put up a parking lot . . ." Joanie Mitchell's famous words featured 'paradise' destroyed by car culture. Times have changed, and parking lots have earned...

Young and Unhoused. No One Has Fewer Resources To Survive And Prosper

Surely, the problem is beyond managing! We're talking about the growing number of older teenagers and young adults who are unhoused in the United States. Some no longer have family...

Blink & You Probably Missed It: A U.S. Mega-Shelter

Yes, it gets cold in the Mile-High-City, Denver Colorado. And yes, in Denver, like many American cities, the number of people who have no home is growing. It's not...

Does A Past Life Unhoused Destroy Your Future Parenting Abilities?

Growing up poor culminated in homelessness as a teenager for Ava Truckey. Today, with a child of her own, has her capability as a parent been permanently damaged by...

Video Animated Field Notes For National (Continental?) Unhoused

Here are some images, with accompanying comments, taken during an encampment demolition in Halifax. The next steps, rendered inevitably off-camera, reflect the displacement of former encampment residents towards literally...

Are You Housing-Vulnerable? Who Decides, With What Consequence?

Here's something that may come as a shock to supporters of a universal human right to adequate housing. In a certain large American city, when it comes to to...

Annual Count: How Many Unhoused? Who’s At ‘Home’? Who’s Just Visiting?

Homelessness counts are an increasingly commonplace means by which cities and nations attempt to determine the costs to handling growing numbers of people who pursuing a precarious existence on...

Irrational Fears About Homeless Werewolves That Prowl A Nation’s Streets

The unhoused! Would you be more accepting of them if they weren't so horrible? But then, perhaps you should pat yourself on the back. You are already cool, calm...

Owners and Unhoused Share Community Fears But Not Solutions

Hey homies! How come your schemes to solve the growing community homeless problems keep falling flat? It may well be because you won’t stop listening to yourselves, even though you...

Carrying The Torch For Ending Homelessness In The United Kingdom

Every country creates its own responses to homelessness. The Kerslake Commission on Homelessness and Rough Sleeping (the Kerslake Commission) is one of many initiatives in the United Kingdom. The...

Aging? Be Afraid! Your Day Of Financial Reckoning Has Been Miscalculated

In a world of self-reliance, the Baby Boom (postwar) generation is aging out self-care. The future has arrived. Your retirement planning, if it even exists, was locked in during an...

Unable To Afford Housing? Easy And Cheap To Brand Them Loonies On The Loose

The year 1984 has come and gone. The novel of the same name lives on as a possible expression of a variety of repugnant futures. Currently, we are looking...

Universal Basic Income: Opportunities For Recipients And The Community?

Wales is in the middle of a pilot project that aims to help young adults who have been wards of the crown to avoid homelessness. Guaranteeing a basic income...

Homelessness: Nothing To Fear Except Poor Leaders?

Modern Western countries are slipping rapidly towards a housing crisis unmatched since the Great Depression in the 1930's. How might we take heart from this circumstance, particularly those less...

Munching Cheez-Its: Tent Encampment Sweeps As A Spectator Sport

54-year-old Tracy Bennett's story plays out from the other side of the road in San Diego, courtesy of a Tucson Sentinel article. Tracy munches Cheez-Its with a couple of...

An Account Of Housing Support For People With Mental Illness

Imagine that you are a mental health worker in Trondheim, Norway (population 210,000). With your mental health colleagues, you began a pilot project in 2018. You asked 34 residents...

What Does Poking In Bushes Tell Us About The Number Of Unhoused People In The US?

In answer to the question posed in the headline — 'point in time' counts tell us not a lot about absolute numbers of people experiencing homelessness. That's because unleashing...

EU Local Communities Can’t Manage Unhoused Youth. Can Any Community?

Affordablehousingaction.org has been advocating that homelessness must be treated as a national war, not a penny ante local squabble to be solved by local activists and learner politicians knocking...

NIMBY? Lower Sackville Nova Scotia Neighbours Promote Pure YIMBY Towards The Homeless

An event is taking place in Lower Sackville, Nova Scotia, which is quite extraordinary in North America. That community is largely one of single family homes — a suburb...

If The Housing Shoe Fits, Let Them Wear It — Scottish No-Brainer?

Unfortunately, it's not a no-brainer in Scotland or anywhere else. If there was ever a definition of 'churning,' a blog post by Jimmy Black offers up a useful example. Black...

United Kingdom Drug Fiends Rave In Lifestyle Tents: Real Homes Are For Sissies!

Some believe that tents are a last resort for those trying to survive inclement weather in the flimsiest possible form of shelter from the elements — all they can...

Portugues Ocupas: Haven’t Got Squat? Squat Is What You Get

Portugal is undergoing an exercise familiar to Americans who followed recent events by West Coast activists: illegal(?) squatting in unoccupied housing. That story focused on the actions of moms...

Complexities In Data Collection – Small Choices With Big Effects

The National Alliance to End Homelessness (The Alliance) is thinking about the data it collects about homelessness in the United States. The Alliance's data feeds into annual reports to...

UK Homeless Teens: Right To Adequate Housing? The Devil Is In The Details

It's easier to pay lip service to 'adequate housing' if you can drag the costs down. The issue arises for a government tasked with arranging a young person's care....

Updated – Architects Design Buildings To Welcome People Shunned By Society

In July this year, we published a story about trauma informed architecture. Now we have another. Why so soon? This time, there is another linked article that adds new information...

How Long Before Persistent, Growing Homelessness Demands A Final Solution?

When your country needs housing, it is both conventional as well as common to build houses for people who need them. A substantial number of the world's countries are...

Are American Schools Really Trying To Educate Children Who Are Homeless?

According to a US report from the Center For Public Integrity, "The federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, which protects the educational rights of homeless students, requires schools to identify and...

Homeless: To Pee Or Not To Pee? That’s Not the Question. It’s About The Poop!

These days, all North American cities have more and more homeless people in residence . . . Except they haven't got an actual house to reside in (of course...

Housing, Land And Property Rights In South Africa And Canada

This is part of a series that looks at housing and homelessness in South Africa and Canada. It might be a source of inspiration/direction for housing efforts in either...

Another Good Result For Housing First, This Time In England

Manchester's Mayor Andy Burnham has good news for the people in his city, where the number of homeless families in temporary accommodation is going down. The city is also...

Australian Research Finds A Homeless Service System In Crisis

AHURI (the Australian Housing And Urban Research Institute Limited), the agency responsible for research about housing and homelessness in Australia, has just published a report about safety in emergency...

Researchers Investigate Safety At Shelters For People Who Are Homeless

A team of researchers based in Toronto have just published an article about safety in homeless shelters. The research was triggered by accounts from homeless people who have stayed...

Good News On Homelessness From Detroit, Michigan

Josephus Anderson is lucky to have chosen Detroit for his home. It could be because it has low housing prices and low rents when compared with other large cities...

Questioning The Strategy Of Closing Shelters To End Homelessness

Affordablehousingaction.org clings to an underlying notion that financialization, no matter how honourable the motives that can be assigned to those who practice it, nonetheless impacts a country's population with...

Homeless School Children: Uncountable Numbers, Inadequate Education

It may seem strange to case the world for bad news, rather than good news, in order to tackle social problems. Education is one field where observing the trials...

Doing More To Welcome People With Disabilities

When you hear the word disability in the context of housing, what comes to mind? ramps wide doorways roll in showers a place of your own an extra...

Local Homelessness Is A National Problem. Making Civic Duty A Crime Is No Answer

Of late, affordablehousingaction.org has been making the case that homelessness merely lives in communities. It is born, however, as a national disease that infects entire nations in all its...

Students In Vocational Careers That Help Homeless People

Not everyone imagines lifelong happiness with a string of fancy degrees (as well as a massive debt). Career? Maybe some kind of high powered financier, spiriting wealth out of...

Unhoused? Welcome To The Lemming-Land Of California.

With nearly a third of America's homeless crowded into the state, California's major league homeless problems are more likely to receive experimentation than any other region on the continent....

Indigenous Perspectives On Homelessness Services

When completing her PhD, Mikaela Gabriel chose to study Indigenous homelessness in Canada. Indigenous people are much more likely to experience homelessness than settlers. Gabriel recently published an article...

NYC Mayor’s Message To The Unhoused: Don’t Come Here, We’re Full up.

A combination of events makes New York City an excellent example of why every mayor and council of every town and city in every world democracy should think seriously...

Yes, Homeless People CAN Use A Helping Paw Or Four

What possible use is a dog when you're penniless without a roof over your head? It hints of a self-inflicted wound when a homeless person has been turned away...

Priorities For Women Experiencing Homelessness In Los Angeles County

The majority of women who experience homelessness in Los Angeles County have experienced violence during their current episode of homelessness. And one third of women experiencing homelessness in Los...

Reserving Social Housing For Aging Teens – A Boost To Productivity?

The human right to adequate housing has been slowly gaining world-wide popularity. These days, most countries are prepared to pay at least lip service to the concept. But adequate housing...

‘Homeless’ . . . Bad? ‘Unhoused’ . . . Good? What’s In A Name? More Than You Might Think

At affordablehousingaction.org we consider The Guardian one of the world's great papers, with well-written world-wide in-depth stories about social housing and homelessness. When The Guardian picks up a story, we...

Planning A Welcome For Homeless Clients

In Virginia, a new housing program for young people experiencing homelessness is under development. It is called Marsha and Marian's Neighbors.The program design is based on guidance from a...

New Affordable Homes – Not News, But Should Be

The stories that sell news are the disasters and things gone wrong. As someone said elsewhere, "it's not news when a plane lands safely." In the housing business this means...

Exploring The Temporary Potential Of The Drive In Live-In

The mere existence of live-in vehicles has meant they've been quietly used as houses for 'homeless' people for decades. In America, there are still huge expanses of wilderness in...

An Ethical Inquiry To Improve Research About Indigenous People

Let's be clear up front. This post is not going to be for everyone. It's about a rather boring aspect of research: ethics and research methods. At the same...

Homelessness A Lifestyle Choice? Forget That Self-Serving Nonsense: California Study

30% of all people who are homeless in the United States live in California. That state has a to-die-for climate (a good deal of the time anyway). It's easy...

Can’t Do The Time? Then Don’t Do The Crime – Really Bad Advice And Treatment For The Homeless

Affordablehousingaction.org recently highlighted two articles about homeless outreach teams operated by local governments in North America. One was based on a research from the United States, which found that...

Making ‘Housing First’ Work Better For Indigenous People

Concept mapping is a research process that strives to put the power of analysis in the hands of the people who are being studied. This post is about using...

A Veterinarian Pioneers Trauma-Informed Care For Homeless Pets

Trauma-informed care takes account of the possibility that a person who is seeking services has experienced trauma. For people who are homeless, the possibility of experiencing trauma is much...

From Homelessness To Higher Learning: A Difficult Path Which Needs Caring Support

Some folks might want to help people who are homeless, but would like do more than sustain a seemingly never-ending parade of marginal existence and misery. For those keen to...

Police Are Trained To Get Stuff Done. Should That Include Finding Housing For Homeless People?

Housing ultimately solves homelessness. Outreach doesn't. Particularly when the outreach is accidentally or deliberately punitive. Next City has published an article that explores cities where the official intention is...

Does Regina, Saskatchewan Need A Shit-In? No, There’s No Misspelling In This Headline

Affordable housing activists everywhere are faced with an exasperating truth: only they, as well as people experiencing homelessness, understand that harassment solves no problems. Predictable cause and effect works...

UK Outdoor Homeless Won’t Be Missing Because Their Shelter Promise Will Be Missed

So, are government politicians and bureaucrats invariably duplicitous (as in: I say this all the time but I never really mean it)? Or is government work a wonderful career opportunity...

Technology Stirs The Homeless/Child Welfare Soup Pot. Too Bad It’s Just Full of Water

Four researchers from Trent University in Peterborough Ontario, kick off a report on the benefits of technology with a warning published a century ago. Even that far back, some...

Western University Experiments With In-Shelter Medical Team For Homeless People

This post is about medical residentsResidents are fully qualified doctors who are completing post-graduate training. in Windsor, Ontario, who are rotating through a one month posting to a clinic...

Chariots Of The VanLords: New Gods Happy To Take The Homeless For A Ride In LA

You have to hand it to capitalists! They are indeed the gods of profit, and can find the narrowest niche market in which to make a few bucks. But...

“Those Advocates Who Say . . .” Can Distort The Meaning of Homelessness

"Advocates say. . . " Are those unnamed advocates real or imaginary? Advocates of the facts? Or advocates of "alternative facts?" Pursuing a viewpoint, or running away from one? A...

Making Homelessness Safer For Women

Research has taught us something about different experiences of homelessness. One word that comes up over and over again is violenceTry: Violence And Women’s Experiences Of Homelessness. The purpose of...

Homelessness, Housing First And Living In A State Of Lack

The article linked to this post is about what it's like to experience homeless in two cities in Ontario. It's also about what people experience when they leave homelessness...

When Homelessness In Toronto Had A Gentler, Lighter Side

Olivier M. reports that Toronto had a golden age of homelessness, from 2009 to 2013. He speaks from personal experience. In the golden age, he could find a bed in...

Part Of The Solution Or The Problem? BC Children’s Ministry Calls Missing Children “A Nuisance”

According to a new report by Jennifer Charlesworth, B.C.’s representative for children and youth, the poor handling of children who go missing in British Columbia can be partly blamed...

Get A Job, Ya Bum! But An Entire Industry Has Jobs. It’s Not Enough To Prevent Homelessness

The ultimate small-c, lift-yourself-up-by-your-bootstraps conservative has a supposedly bullet-proof sneer at those unfortunates sleeping on the sidewalk. "Don't ask me to solve their problems if they don't have jobs." But...

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass Tells A Whopper. It Helps Price The Cost of Solving Homelessness

The whopper: 1.3 billion dollars. Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass appears to be committed to telling homelessness like it is. For example, in a recent speech aimed partly at the...

Homelessness – We Don’t Need Experience To Take Action

What is it like to be homeless? Even if they want to know, people who have housing may have limited opportunities to find out. This post offers two perspectives,...

A Human Right To Adequate Housing: Thunder Bay Wrestles With Homelessness In This Light

Like virtually all North American cities, Thunder Bay, Ontario faces the reality of persistent homelessness. Like a smaller number of cities, indigenous people make up a portion of Thunder...

Can’t Run The Homeless Out Of Town? Why Not Go After Their Enablers?

As the bloom comes off the COVID 'Everybody In!' rose, a nation's most vulnerable have largely returned from their moments of motel and hotel room pandemic safety to life...

The Value Of Being Guided By Experience When Supporting People Who Are Homeless

How easy is it for people to access the United Kingdom's social "safety net?" Evaluations of this challenge often report that  ". . . a more people-centred response is...

Peering Into Rural Homelessness

During its short life, affordablehousingaction.org has published 2,700 posts. The purpose of reporting this is not to puff out our chests, but to highlight a gap in our content....

The Fight For Trans Rights Shines A Light On Health Care Rights For Homeless Children

A great deal of so-called 'woke' energy around the world has been mobilizing to demand more recognition for 'trans' rights, together with legal mechanisms to create a physical and...

Asleep Near My Doorstep? The Matter Has Long Been Settled. Your Need For Slumber Is A Crime

The COVID pandemic resulted in a profound change — temporarily at least — in the way that homeless citizens were treated world-wide. Was it because communities were overwhelmed by...

Homeless With Mental Problems/Drug Abuse Issues: Human Rights Bang Heads With Compassion

With roughly one in three people who are homeless having mental health or drug abuse issues, the growing numbers of people on the streets without shelter is creating antagonism...

“No Address:” A Search For A New Homelessness Movie Unveils A Hidden Gem

This writer's hat is off is Christos Makridis and his website, Zenger News. Further hat-doffing to Forbes for publishing a Makridis story. His article whets the appetite for a new film...

Can Social Media Smooth The Path To Housing For People Leaving Homelessness?

Time was, if you were short on a household item, you'd ask a neighbour to help you out. In today's world, the idea might seem laughable. Would your neighbour...

Tiny Mobile Home or Mobile Tiny Home? Vive La Difference!

Affordablehousingaction.org has done a number of posts about the potential of 'tiny mobile homes.' For example, try this pre-COVID one that celebrates tiny-ness while questioning just where it might...

Albuquerque, NM: Helping Out Young Adults When Life Piles On

Social and health issues dramatically influence homelessness. It's hardly a surprise that a teenager aging out of care on one hand, and a senior citizen with a fixed income...

Research Study – Does Housing First Work For Single Homeless Moms?

A randomized control trial about homelessness services in the United States . . . , you may be rolling your eyes. Yet another randomized control trial? Here are two...

Slum Clearances – An Unlikely Source Of Housing Inspiration?

With all of the reports about tent clearances across North America, it is encouraging to learn that there are some places where the rights of people living in encampments...

Young People In Winnipeg: Fixing Service Gaps That Lead To Homelessness

How would you feel if a paramedic advised you to "call us when somebody dies?" Confused: I thought paramedics were there to save lives. Angry: that paramedic should be...

Sing Out For Joy And For Housing

Much staff discussion and laughter erupted in the halls of a Toronto hospital while this writer awaited day surgery. Shortly thereafter, bouts of singing and more laughter filtered in...

In Praise of Once-Canvas Slums. Consider Modern Ripstop, Health And Safety Incl.

Around the world, tent encampments have been a sensible, practical alternative to more permanent housing when none other is available. Search Wikimedia Commons for 'tents' to reveal some of...

Life In Translation: 20 Years After Mental Illness Chose Voluntary Homelessness

So you're downtown, crossing with the light at a crosswalk. As you approach the middle, you take a wide tour around a shouting person man who is focussing a...

Prying Open The Doors To Housing For Gender-Diverse People

The Women's National Housing and Homelessness Network (WNHHN) is drawing attention to the issue of how gender-diverse peopleThe research discussed in this post uses the term “gender-diverse” as a...

The Homeless Who Don’t Quite Notice They’ve ‘Sold Their Souls To The Devil’

There are some awfully ugly human behaviours out there in the real world. There are also bad habits that foolhardy local councils of one stripe of another can stumble...

Wraparound Supports, Sure! But Home Decorating? That, Too. Better Believe it!

Affordablehousingaction.org has emphasized the importance of ensuring that there are  mental health and drug treatment supports for people who are moving from chronic homelessnessChronic homelessness means homelessness lasting for...

The State of the Temporary Affordable Housing Union? Pretty Darn Fragile!

From . . . temporary affordable housing that isn't housing anyone at all while it takes a lengthy snooze. Read more in The Seattle Times: The story of Seattle’s homeless...

Why Canada Needs A National Housing Benefit

In the days leading up to the 2023-24 Federal Budget, here's an article in the Ottawa Citizen. It promotes a proposed Canadian Housing Benefit to help people with very...

NYC Adopts Common Torture Technique To Be Applied To Homeless Youth

It's truly astounding the cruelty that groups of self-important, out of touch bureaucrats and/or politicians can inflict on their fellow humans: "Homeless youth are nothing but a nuisance. Let's torture...

Chronic Homeless Need Help, But Lived Experience Counters Incarceration

The latest fad(?) in solving homeless problems has been dominated by fed-up citizens endlessly encountering dangerous(?) chronic homeless people on the streets. Responding to the concerns of their citizens,...

Bearing Witness To The End Of An Honourable Life

A warning to readers. This post might be a bit of a downer. Being the middle of winter and all, it's a time when tough stuff can be particularly...

America #1 Homelessness Crisis: California. Would You Guess #2: Vermont?

California has the largest number of homeless people per capita in the U.S. It is largely an urban problem, highly visible, much talked about nationally and beyond. Vermont, the state...

Yukon Considers: Who Deserves Social Housing When There’s Never Enough?

The following problem is a conundrum for all social housing suppliers virtually everywhere in the world. We're going to examine that problem in Canada's Yukon Territory, where the homeless...
Howdy,