Myths About Homelessness

Countering misconceptions of the experience of homelessness

When It Comes To Homelessness, NYC Can’t Count. Quite Deliberately, It Seems

The New Yorker Magazine is providing some free reads at the moment. Hopefully, you'll catch one before they close the window, because what follows is a fascinating story of...

‘Good’ Encampments Can Help Homeless ‘Transition’ To . . . ?

A hopefully balanced opinion piece (if such a thing can exist) from Ohio's Akron Beacon Journal helps unscramble some thoughts about 'hands on' private activism as a means of...

Indianapolis & Milwaukee: A Homelessness Tale In Two Midwest Cities

For cities world-wide considering their options for dealing with persistent homelessness, the article linked below offers some useful comparative insights. It describes the efforts in two medium-large cities in...

Pushing Back On The Story That Homelessness Is A Personal Failing

In 2021, a famous international agency, UNICEF, stepped in to provide emergency food for students at a school in England. Why did this become necessary? At the time, the UK...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...

Yakima Provides A Homeless Solution Worthy Of A Global Eyeroll

One short letter to the editor plus a single photograph summarize the sad scope of current homelessness solutions everywhere. The photo, which is in the article below, is the "after"...

The “Plus Ça Change” Dilemma When Dealing With Homelessness

“We just moved 18 people off the side of the road . . . I don’t think we moved anybody into something that’s better.” This recent statement was made by...

llegitimi Non Carborundum: Advice For A Toronto Homeless Shelter Builder

illegitimi non carborundum is a pretend Latin saying which is famous for meaning, "Don't let the bastards grind you down." It's our advice to a Khaleel Seivwright, Toronto carpenter defying...

Payments To People Who Are Homeless – Cash Well Spent?

More experiments with giving money to people who are experiencing homelessness, this time in CaliforniaTry also: Lump Sum Payments Help People Who Are Homeless To Leave The Streets. The article...

Shelter “Option” For Tenters Pressures An Emergency Shelter System That Is Already Full

How many homeless can dance on the head of a pin? This philosophical question about angels suits current homelessness practices in many cities. Bogus public relations spin-the-bottle exercises point...

Is Coordinated Entry To Homelessness Services Possible?

Mary Kate Bacalao is the Director of External Affairs and Policy at Compass Family Services, an agency that supports families experiencing homelessness. In Shelterforce, she speaks about difficulties in...

Toronto Tries To Dignify Kicking Homeless Ass And Taking Names

Nothing but tatters remain of whatever modest humanitarian reputation Toronto has earned so far in its treatment of the homeless during the COVID pandemic. The cause: recent police-led California-style...

Can Lackadaisical California Fix Homelessness Without New Housing?

Why is California's lackadaisical approach to homelessness worth a worry to other jurisdictions as well as its own? Many other cities in North American and elsewhere have bumbled into the...

Toronto Filmmaker Captures Homelessness As Lives Lived

When filmmaker and Photographer Jason Cipparrone encountered his city's poverty in a long lineup at Toronto food bank, it was a new experience for him. Cipparrone was struck by...

Homeless And Invisible: The Overlooked And Under-Assisted Couch Surfer

Why have we written this post? Almost always we attempt to explain why, some of us doing so in a way that is precise and to the point, others a...

Building Kinship To End Homelessness: Connecting Through Experience

This post is part of a series about ways that people provide support to those who experience homelessness. The idea that "we treat everyone as kin" resonates through the...

“Lived Experience” Vital To Solutions To Homelessness. Just Ask.

The COVID-19 pandemic provides some unexpected examples of the importance of "lived experience" to the practical knowledge that legislators need to craft focused, practical, compassionate rules and legislation to...

Truly Affordable Housing As Essential COVID Worker Reward?

Year two of a coronavirus pandemic. The hollow metallic sound of periodic pot banging no longer echos through Toronto city streets. We're apparently not so proud of ourselves any...

Iowa: The Darkness Underlying a Charming Girl Scout Cookie Sale Story

How wonderfully Middle America! Iowa Girl Scouts bust a record for cookie sales! Impossible not to smile after reading about it. Almost, but not quite impossible. Hidden beneath this good...

Homeless Numbers? Fool Me Once – Worldwide. Plenty of Shame To Go Around

Remember that clever saying? "Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me." How does this apply to governments with resident experts, contract experts, and the funds...

UK COVID Homeless Miscount. A Convenient Funding Dodge?

During the fall of 2019, people across England hit the streets to count the number of people who were homeless. The results were announced in November: 4,266 people. At...

Between A Rock And A Hard Place: Remembering People Who Are Homeless

There is new memorial in Kitchener, Ontario. It's not for a statesman or a celebrity. It's to remember and honour people who experience homelessness. At the dedication ceremony, one...

Overlooked: Women’s Homelessness And Housing Need

In the months leading up to COVID-19, two groups of researchers set out to investigate homelessness among women. The researchers were concerned that women's experiences were overlooked. Both groups...

Housing Rental Assistance Stalls Out In Hot Markets. Even Warm Ones

In countries influenced by neo-liberalism, governments are dedicated to self-shrinking. Rather than constructing and "owning" public/social housing, rental assistance programs have become the order of the day for supporting...

Flicking A Broken Switch to Turn Off US Public Housing? Doesn’t Work

Much of what affordablehousingaction.org publishes about social/public/council housing could in the US be considered palliative care for a dying industry and its long-suffering tenants. American public housing has been...

Rough Sleepers Just The Tip of Australia’s Homelessness Problem

A recent report for the Australian Homeless Monitor attempts to find a prescription for future action by making sense of Australia's homelessness problem as it has evolved over the...

Ending Homelessness: Vancouver & Philadelphia Explore Different Paths

Somebody must be making potfuls of money in Vancouver, B.C. Why else is it second only to Hong Kong as the most unaffordable city in the world? Such a shame...

Homeless Numbers Shrinking? No Consolation For The Unfortunately Unhoused

A recent article in Huffpost draws attention to a common yet frightening administrative technique for declaring a 'social success' when exactly the opposite is happening. Or, just as commonly,...

Health Services In US Supported To Use Housing First Treatment

The evidence supporting Housing First continues to pile up. The Community Preventive Services Task Force in the U.S. compared results from studies of Housing First and Treatment First and have...

Oh, No! Not Another California Homeless Story. . . But It Is A Great One!

Great? We wish we could mean 'great' in some kind of 'light at the end of the tunnel' way. But we can't. Instead we're talking about a comprehensive article...

Why Individual Woes Can Muddy Affordable Housing Imperatives

On one hand: CBS's Anderson Cooper does a so-called 'progressive' take on Seattle's homelessness crisis. "Rent Is Obscene Here": The Issues Forcing People In Seattle Onto The Street And on...

Greensboro NC Describes The Real Roots Of Homelessness — Yet Again

Einstein gets the nod for a popular definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over, but expecting different results. On the other hand, some aboriginal traditions suggest that...

Three Takes On California’s Housing Crisis: Part 2

Part two of a three part series on California's housing crisis published in the California Globe moves to Los Angeles to take a personal look at those most affected by the housing crisis — the homeless.

Homeless While Working: A Growing Urban Tragedy In Advanced Societies

A widespread misconception about the nature of homelessness needs urgent correction. It is an understandable, and unfortunately highly convenient, misconception. It puts the focus on a small handful of...

Homes Can’t Fix Homelessness. Maybe Not . . . On Some Other Planet

An articulate, well reasoned, polite letter to the editor of Oregon Live neatly sums up the depths of wrong-headed, misinformed thinking about why the homeless need affordable housing. The reasoning is...

NIMBYite Baby Boomers Go Out With A Bang, Not A Whimper

"Affordable Housing? How quaint. Of course. Only take it somewhere else. Otherwise I personally guarantee to shove your XXXX up your YYYY until you bleed buckets and scream for...

Housing First, Helsinki Style

The Guardian has just published a story about Finland’s remarkable success in lowering the number of people who are homeless in the capital Helsinki. We’ve covered stories about Finland’s success...

Hospitals Still Spending Millions Treating People Who Are Homeless

In 2006, Malcolm Gladwell penned the story of Million Dollar Murray, a veteran who found home in the streets of Reno, Nevada. He also spent a good deal of...

UK Rough Sleepers: Does the Government Have A Clue How Many?

A great many people believe that homelessness is characterized by the "street people" and "rough sleepers" who are encountered on occasional downtown trips. This is not the full scope...

Homelessness: Not Only A Bigger Problem Than You Think, But Bigger Than Homeless Themselves Think

A reasonably well dressed person walks purposefully past you on the street. Are they homeless? Why on earth would you think so? They aren't huddled in a doorway under a...

Down And Out In Delaware: Some Hard Facts

Like the meaning of 'affordable' housing, the meaning of 'homelessness' is frequently parsed or twisted by special interests (or by the ignorant) who wish to push one agenda or...

Ottawa Homelessness: Bailing An Ocean, One Small, Futile Policy Step At A Time

Everyone knows you can't bail out a sea. And yet, when it comes to homelessness, city councils behave like children on a beach staring at the water with a...
Howdy,
Search exact
Search sentence

Meta