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.

Pushing Supportive Housing To Do Better

Supportive housing is supposed to be part of the solution to homelessness, not contributing to it. It's supposed to be the magic space where people who have been homeless...

Community-Integrated Jailing For The Homeless Criminal Class?

Visit 'Ground Zero' in the world's homeless crisis, The City of Los Angeles (LA) in California. It's an encounter that every city with a homelessness problem should consider undertaking...

Activists Take Note: Homelessness Needs Ambassadors, Too. Like These

Do we need more activist explanations that parse such critical details as 'visible' and 'invisible' homelessness, as well as the specific health challenges suffered by the 'chronic' homelessness (not...

Homeless Jail Homeless Jail . . . Breaking The Cycle

The John Howard Society of Ontario provides support to people who are affected by the criminal justice system. Their mandate also includes research and public education. The Society's report...

Homeless? Bully(s) For You. Our Shelter System Can Provide!

A recent school shooting in Texas resulted in the deaths of 19 students, 2 teachers, and the wounding of others. Within a day, anecdotes about the life history of...

Homeless On The American Murder Range: Shooter Or Target?

So what's the homeless score in Murderland? How many upstanding citizens have been done to death by homeless people — angry, drug-fueled and/or otherwise crazed? How many hapless homeless people have...

Vision and Evidence — An Important Pairing In A Campaign For Social Housing

Renters Rising and the Center For Popular Democracy have published a vision document for social housing advocates in the United States: Social Housing For All. The document sets the stage...

Free To Be Completely Nuts? California Winds Homelessness Into The Issue

California is re-examining mental health problems 'solved' half a century ago as a way of dealing with some aspects of chronic homelessness. Some chronically homeless people have such severe mental...

A Key To Implementing The Right To Adequate Housing In Canada: Coordination

Now that Canada has officially recognized the right to adequate housing in legislation (The National Housing Strategy Act), knowledgeable Canadians are busy helping the country to get off to...

Holding Government Feet To The Climate Change (And Other) Fire

Emergency planning is easy and inexpensive, at least compared to emergency management. History provides valuable support to researchers tasked with developing emergency plans. Add some creative thinkers and there...

Making Service Coordination Work Better For People Who Are Homeless

Governments in Canada and the United States are devotees of service coordination as the way to fix homelessness: by working together, we can all be more effective. In both...

Optical Delusion: Solving Homelessness In Texas

Nearly a year ago now, the Texas legislature with the stroke of a pen turned the homeless into criminals. Of course, the law didn't quite say that. Instead, it...

Supportive Housing: What Is It? How To Add More That Is Needed

Canada and the United States need more supportive housing, the kind that is affordable for people with very low incomes and provides support to help with activities of daily...

Almost Sorry For Councillors – Gatekeepers of Homeless Purgatory

" . . . up there, coming to save the homeless! Is it a bird? A plane? No! It's a . . . word salad?" When it comes to solving...

Graduating From Homeless Shelter A Tough Challenge For Youth

The headline on this post can be interpreted two ways. The confusion is deliberate. One important achievement is 'graduating' from a shelter into housing. With housing rental costs as high...

Homeless, Too Young To Be A Mother? Sahana Has Your Back

How can you help if you're only fifteen? Suppose you became aware that some fifteen-year-olds are both like you, and profoundly NOT like you, because they are already mothers...

Homelessness Shown To Be A Literal School Of Hard Knocks

At the beginning of the year, we published a post about the surprising prevalence of brain injuries among the homeless, based on research by Tiffany O'Connor at the Hamilton...

Fighting The Rising Tide Of Tent Clearances

Media are reporting tent clearances all over the United States these days. Public support is crumbling for Housing First and similar programs that help people who are homeless to...

Negligence or Lying? The Political Justification of Homeless Sweeps

Without a local, regional, or national program to develop truly affordable housing, what's to be done about exploding numbers of homeless? The front lines of the homeless crisis is a...

Nova Scotia Civility Strains To Accommodate The Homeless

For new arrivals, Nova Scotia offers a friendly sense of superiority not uncommon in the Canadian maritimes. It's a quiet certainty that "you've come to the right place." But...

Wrong Turns On The Road To Shelter In San Francisco

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) publishes a map with information about homelessness. The map indicates 161,548 people were homeless in California on any given night...

Canada: Local Tools To Implement The Right To Adequate Housing

One thing you can say about local governments – they really can't turn away from the housing struggles of their residents. And to their credit, local governments in Canada have...

Homeless RV Problems Reveal The Limits of Soft-Hearted Shrug

Recreational Vehicles (RVs) are a subclass of generalized homeless problems and growing as all homelessness is in North America. An international view of officialdom seems to be that tents are...

Sacramento, CA Fights For A Legal Right To Housing For The Homeless

Over the last year, California's state capitol, Sacramento has been working hard to balance a responsibility to find or create shelter for the city's homeless. It has been a...

Homelessness: “Once Young” No Substitute For Youth Experience

Sure, everyone was young once. That doesn't really qualify everyone or just anyone to best guard youth from homelessness. When it comes to the value of 'lived experience,' youth who...

Ending Homelessness: Theatre of the Absurd

Honestly, in order to avoid dealing with homelessness, the decisions that city councils make sometimes truly beggar belief. Laugh? Cry? Both? So here's a contest of ideas that pits the...

California’s Rapid Housing Initiative For Homeless People – How’s It Working Out?

The Terner Center For Housing InnovationThe Terner Center For Housing Innovation is based at the University of California Berkeley. It has a long history of studying housing and homelessness...

Survey Of Homelessness – Women And Men Fare Differently

New evidence from Canada shows that women and girls have different experiences of homelessness and precarious housing than men. It adds to other reports from CanadaTry: Shining A Spotlight...

NYC: Shelter Available. A Move To Housing? Unending Delay

The 'ahead of its time' horrors of George Orwell's book, 1984, has in some respects taken 40 years and more to catch up to the events predicted in its...

Homeless Human Rights Face-off: California Vs. Canada

As we all-too-superior Canadians know, Americans do a lot of whining and caterwauling about their rights. But, bottom line, none of that hot air is carved in stone (or...

A Path To Ending Forced Evictions

Watching as police pinch, push and shove a person who is homeless is uncomfortable. Yet as a society, when we call in police and others to clear encampments, we...

BC: Transitional Housing Gone Wrong?

Intimidation, drug dealing, drug use and overdoses, petty crime, breaking and entering — what's that all about? Well, some might say it's just the same old Not In My...

Homelessness: Après Moi, Le Déluge . . . Or Is It ‘Le Gulag?’

Louis XV of France is credited with the flood warning in the title above. Today the saying is interpreted as a giant shrug. "After me comes the flood. But who...

Personal Perspectives On Stable Housing In California

In housing and homelessness circles, California is well known for its high housing costs and its tens of thousands of people who are living 'unsheltered.' California's Project Homekey is an...

Placing Tiny Homes In The Housing And Homelessness Response

Tiny Homes? Hug 'em and Love 'em! The Media seems to, including us. They're forever popping up as cozy little bandaid stories about the housing and homelessness crisis in...

Sacramento County Climbs Aboard ‘Official Tent City’ Bandwagon

In 2021, the City of Sacramento fielded both praise and condemnation surrounding a plan for city-sanctioned 'tent cities.' They would be healthier safer, and less disruptive homeless 'housing' solutions...

Envy Homeless Youth Backpacking Adventure? Don’t

They're young, sitting together laughing on the sidewalk. If only you could do the same, toss aside life's burdens for a few moments, be footloose and carefree! Be careful what...

Canada’s National Housing Strategy – Heading Off In The Wrong Direction

Canada's National Housing Council has just released a report with a title that is hardly a headline grabber: Analysis of Affordable Housing Supply Created by Unilateral National Housing Strategy...

A Big-Bucks Seattle Plan To Shelter The Visibly Homeless

Businesses generally see visible homelessness as bad for business, sullying what might otherwise be 'beautiful downtown Seattle,' for example. Is it possible for the public interest in ending homelessness to...

Getting The Best From Supportive Housing

Supportive housing has become an essential component in programs to end homelessness. At the same time, it seems that we still have a lot to learn about what supportive...

Rescuing Overlooked Homeless Kids In San Diego

A CBS 8 San Diego video available on YouTube somewhat breathlessly explores three homelessness issues at once, all of which are interesting once you are used to the frenetic...

Giving Lived Experience Of Homelessness/Precarious Housing Their Due

Lived experience. Think about it for a moment. If you wanted to prevent homelessness, of which you had no direct knowledge, it would seem sensible to get advice from...

Shelter Intake Broadens: A New “Lost Generation” Of Homeless?

City Hope St. Louis provides homeless shelter and resources in St. Louis, Missouri. Like many organizations that operate shelters for people who are homeless, their hand-to-mouth income flow requires...

Fresno’s Council Gets a Knee On Homeless Supporter Necks

How low can you go in criminalizing people who have the misfortune to be homeless? Fresno, California is certainly stretching the limits. Jail them? At least jail has food. And...

Brain Injuries: Warfare & Contact Sports Trail The Homeless

When we first encountered the following article, we almost dismissed it as a celebration of the obvious. Pretty much everyone has been told by now that chronic homelessness, characterized...

Homeless Lured From Streets By Universal Bad Habits

What can possibly be positive about cigarettes, alcohol and illegal drugs? For starters, though known to be potentially dangerous to human health, they are undeniably effective pit-props that shore...

Montréal Mini-Shelter Donation? Nope. Just Come As You Are

A recent winter offer to buy and donate mini-shelters to the City of Montréal for protection of the homeless has been turned down. There was no joy in being...

Boondocking Lifestylers, Meet The Boondocking Homeless

Boondocking? What is it? Who does it? What has it got to do with homelessness? Some might argue that boondocking is homelessness, or at the very least, rootlessness. In America,...

SA Homeless Network Holds ‘Stats SA’ Feet To The Fire

Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), like all census organizations, is a passionate advocate for the importance of counting its citizens in as many ways possible. In the words of...

‘Groundhog Day’ Again As City Homeless Board Warming Buses

The movie 'Groundhog Day' immortalized a bad-attitude weatherman forced to live the same day over and over again until he learned more humanitarian behaviour. Echos of Groundhog Day could be...

A ‘Green’ Opportunity To Make Homes Accessible

Disability rights activists have been pointing out that despite international agreement about accessibility rights, much of the built environment is not accessible. One of those activists, Graham Findlay, sees...

Why Race Matters In Homelessness Programs

When the U.S. Congress passed the McKinney-Vento Act in 1987, Black people were more likely to be homeless than white people. The Act, which was and is the framework...

Winnipeg Manitoba Explores Fire Harm Reduction For Winter Homeless Camps

A home that provides warmth, light and cooking heat is in perpetual danger from fires. Two Eastern U.S. social housing (rent geared to income) buildings were the sites of...

Repurposing Detached Homes – Gentle Density At Work

Oakville, Ontario's Norma Gamble is inventive. In existing single detached homes, she sees opportunities for shared living. And, with persuasion and an accommodating housing market, she's been able to...

Street Outreach In A Frozen Hellscape: Words Or Welfare? Whatever’s Needed

In case you think you know what police officers are all about . . . Retired from a life as a community police officer, Paul VanHandel took a chunk of...

Estimates Of Estimates: A Nation Tries To Pin Down Homelessness Facts

Counting the homeless is problematic. The best attempts are point-in-time counts. Volunteers saturate a region on one night of the year (Like everybody else, people who are homeless are...

Shelters A Long Term Dead End? Charity Abandons Homeless Warehousing, Moves To Homes

It may be hard to view closing an emergency shelter as a step forward for providing services to the homeless in the Kitchener-Waterloo region of Ontario. But the House of...

Deadly Cold, Deadly Heat: North America Threatens A Continent’s Homeless

A life-ending threat to the homeless is a familiar one over large swaths of North America in the depths of winter: deadly cold. With homelessness on the increase as...

Small Communities Also Challenged By Homelessness

As we transition towards at COVID endgame (please go away soon, Omicron!) one consistent story is the impact that COVID's economic pressures are having on homelessness responses. These responses...

A Homeless Person Has Found A Home? Excellent! But The Job Has Just Begun

'Housing First' is a significant advance in moving people who are homeless from the streets and returning them to housing. It boils down to the idea that no amount...

NYC Trans Legal Victory A Step Forward For All Who Fear Homeless Shelter Violence

New York City, with homelessness mega-problems, is legally required to provide shelter for those homeless within its boundariesSee this article from the Coalition for the Homeless, which is the...

NZ Homelessness: Hotel, Couch Surfing, Shelter, Squat . . . Rinse, Repeat.

No, the majority of people who become homeless do not live in sidewalk tents, panhandle, shout obscenities, and take drugs. Here's a much more typical story of a couple of...

Wanted: Leadership From Toronto’s Council To Make Thousands Of Homes Legal

This is a story that is more than 20 years in the making, years in which Toronto City Council could have exercised leadership to protect housing for residents with...

Unacceptable: Numbers of Children Growing Up Homeless Increases Worldwide

Recently, we referred to an article from Cincinnati that discussed the above average numbers of students in the Cincinnati Public School system who are homeless. There the concern focussed...

Homeless A Crime —> Homeless The Penalty. Let’s Stop This Hamster Wheel Of Horror!

How Shall I Hate Thee? Let Me Criminalize The Ways. The American National Homelessness Law Center tracks the uncivil ways in which "civilized" society systematically brands activities that are essential for...

Subjects Of A Lawsuit, Homeless In NYC Prevail Against Poisonous Neighbours

Do governments need to institute anti-discrimination laws to protect the working poor? When it comes to other disadvantaged classes — those suffering from discrimination due to gender, race colour,...

Equality of Opportunity? Not For Students From Homeless Families

Consider a reasonably common school class size — say thirty students. Can we assume equality of opportunity to all those who are served by the same set of teachers...

New Research Rebuts Ideas About Homelessness In England

The number of single mothers becoming homeless in England is growing at an alarming rate, according to Shelter, a charity which supports people who are facing homelessness. Even though the...

Anything But Funding: Welcome To A National Housing Strategy A.K.A Idiot’s Delight

Here's a short and depressing story that features a need for truly affordable housing viewed via costing alternatives. Like everywhere else in Canada, the District of Nipissing has its homeless. What...

Orange County Teams Police Officers, Social Workers In Homelessness Pilot

A person who is experiencing homelessness intersects with another member of the public for any number of reasons. Let's pick one as charitably as possible. Suppose a member of...

Spanish Study Conclusion On Better Health For The Homeless? Buddy Up

Three people who are homeless are sitting on a park bench, content with sharing the little they have — tipsy conversation, laughter and a bottle of cheap wine. One...

Shining A Spotlight On COVID And Girls’ Homelessness

"Despite the profoundly divergent impacts of COVID-19 globally, it appears that diverse policy makers, scholars, and community leaders can agree on one thing — the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated...

How Important Are Point-In-Time Counts For Measuring Local Homelessness?

People who are experiencing homelessness generally have no means of participating in social activities that can allow for identifying their numbers, needs and habits. They have no fixed address...

Sacramento “Right To Housing” A Whirlwind Of Praise, Condemnation

A plan to create a kind of "right to housing" in Sacramento California is a controversial proposal from its current mayor. It has been on local, national, and international...

Sudbury, Ontario Homeless Services: To Cap or Not To Cap? Ask A 9 Year Old

It should come as a surprise to nobody that Canada has one of the colder climates in the world. It ranks number three after Antartica and Russia. As for for...

Ho Hum: A Progress Report On Texas Criminalization Of The Homeless

Here's a sour-hearted Texas situation that could change at any moment. Nobody has yet been arrested for camping in that state! When we first heard the news in May...

What’s It Like To Be Homeless At Christmas? Here’s One Idea

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u08qmwGl90E&t=1s Try the above short video from the United Kingdom charity Shelter. Read more about its making at CREATIVE REVIEW: Shelter ad highlights the challenges faced by the homeless at Christmas

Salt Lake City Looks To Reevaluate And Improve A New Homelessness Plan

If COVID-19 has achieved one benefit for the homeless, it has brought hidden homelessness to light. Municipalities and regions have in the past been inclined to minimize the numbers...

Ready, Set… Wait! Where’s the Housing Advocate?

Update: On February 4, 2022, Canada announced the appointment of its first Housing Advocate, Marie-Josée Houle. Canada has launched itself on a path to recognize the right to adequate housingCanada's...

Teen Homelessness: Aging Out Of Care, But Not in Eugene, OR

In the world of homelessness, young people can easily fall between the service cracks. Often resilient, inclined to bravado in the face of life's setbacks, unfortunately not all youth...

Realizing Housing Rights In Canada – Embarking On A New Journey

Bruce Porter, Executive Director of the Social Rights Advocacy Centre, works to improve the housing situation of people in Canada who live in poor conditions. Some of his work...

What Moves People to Help The Homeless? A Small Sampler

What moves people to help people who become homeless? Some are moved by hands-on helping, however unusual it may be. Try, for example: London, Ontario: People Worth Crocheting For Homeless...

How Mom’s Homeless Apple Pie Became California’s “Magic Recipe”

OK, we're running the risk of damning with faint praise California's "everyone in"Everyone In" was the name given to the United Kingdom's national directive to provide shelter for people...

Support For the Homeless: Refurbishing The Old-Fashioned Phone Call

There is nothing quite as satisfyingly new as a use found for something once dismissed as old and trashworthy. Take the old-fashioned phone call, for example. (Phones are still...

Sebastopol, California To Meet The Halfway-Homeless Half Way

Care to get hung up on a philosophical argument? Are "homeless" people who live in recreation vehicles (RVs) and assorted other mobile contraptions actually homeless at all? In this age...

Big City Boston Plague of Tents: Speechified Compassion Backed By Threats

It's hard not wonder about those poor souls locked in the illicit drug trade. If we are to take the City of Boston's word on things, we can imagine the...

London, Ontario Homeless Shelters: Small Is Beautiful?

London, Ontario has been evaluating its homelessness response and appears to have been captivated by the possibilities of "small is beautiful." One aspect of this focus is the size...

Britain’s Bruising World of HINO — Housed In Name Only

The Republican Party of America over the last election cycle has grown fond of chewing on its own appendages and mortally wounding itself with easy-to-apply, fits-all-sizes insults to fellow...

National Study: Homeless Bonds Of Friendship & Support Extend To Pets

There are many people who, to their credit, worry about the treatment of pets they encounter. They may well be particularly concerned about the pets they see connected in...

Alberta Enemies: Homeless Workers. Homeless Yourself? Tough Shit

We Canadians are happy to agree with Americans that we're boring, but we tend to be smug in the knowledge that we are more civilized. Wetaskiwin, Alberta certainly puts...

A Formal Approach To Tent Cities, Both For Inhabitants And For City Council

The following article doesn't describe the first occurrence, and surely not the last, but there appears in some cities to be a modest trend towards actually tackling homeless encampments...

Homeless Plight: Steal Or Die? 29 Cent Theft Makes 7-Yr Jail Sentence

This is one of those life stories which, on the surface, connects a series of unlikely dots to produce an unthinkably absurd consequence. That consequence? A New York City...

The Public Face Of Abject Poverty: Haligonian NIMBYites Call It In

Haligonian? Noun — a common name for residents of Halifax, Nova Scotia. It's a city like many in North America that has heeded the call of NIMBY (Not In...

Is A “Value A Vagrant” Campaign Cosmetic? Or The Foundation Of Housing Solutions?

There are some among us who are generally perceived as "inferior" human beings. The people who are homeless tend to fall into that category. Should such ideas about people...

New Survey Shines Light On Homelessness And Housing Need In Canada

The Women's National Housing & Homelessness Network has just released a new study that documents how housing and homelessness affects women, girls and gender diverse populations in Canada. This...

Street Theft: Vancouver City Finders Keepers, Homeless Losers Weepers

Vancouver, B.C. is providing unexpected moral guidance for thieves. Don't steal once — steal daily. Then it's apparently not theft! Does this sound a little strange? Nevertheless the City of...

Pandemic Virtual Student Schooling Disrupts Homeless Shelters

This post reports on an unexpected consequence of students forced to work from home — a youth homeless shelter forced to curtail activities due to lack of staff. A little...

Do Those Visibly Homeless Crazies Know Better Than Most Of Us?

Visible homelessness is undeniably on the increase. Failing truly practical solutions, municipalities and regions are engaging in futile pop-up plow-down pop-up plow-down harassment of homeless tenters, excusing the necessity...

Urgently Needed: A Safe Space To Treat Women Who Use Substances And Are Homeless

A charity in Dublin, Ireland has issued a call for a separate space to offer services to women who experience homelessness in that country. The organization, Merchants Quay Ireland...

UK Work Support Can Cut Homeless Costs, Deliver Free Market Housing Security

A UK charity-based work support program Freedom2Work (F2W) has now been tested for five years. With striking success, it has shown it can lift people who experience homelessness off...
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