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Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness Videos

Canadian Homelessness Will End If All Levels of Government Collaborate

The following video presents The State of Homelessness in Canada, 2013:

The State of Homelessness in Canada: 2013 is the first extensive Canadian report card on homelessness. This report examines what we know about homelessness, the historical, social and economic context in which it has emerged, demographic features of the problem, and potential solutions. The State of Homelessness provides a starting point to inform the development of a consistent, evidence-based approach towards ending homelessness.

Our goal in developing this report was to both assess the breadth of the problem and to develop a methodology for national measurement. We believe that homelessness is not a given and that not just reducing, but ending, the crisis is achievable.

The information for the State of Homelessness in Canada report has been compiled by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network (Homeless Hub) and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness from the best available research to date. Because we lack strong data on homelessness in Canada, our estimates of the scale of the problem are just that: an estimate, but they represent an important starting point. As the first national report card on homelessness, the evaluation of the response to homelessness by Canada’s homeless sector provides an important means of benchmarking progress toward ending homelessness.

For more on this, see: homelesshub.ca/sohc13

The Canadian Homelessness Research Network, led by York University, created the Canadian Definition of Homelessness as follows.

The definition includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Homelessness describes the situation of an individual or family without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination. Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, stressful and distressing.

Homelessness describes a range of housing and shelter circumstances, with people being without any shelter at one end, and being insecurely housed at the other. That is, homelessness encompasses a range of physical living situations, organized here in a typology that includes 1) Unsheltered, or absolutely homeless and living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation; 2) Emergency Sheltered, including those staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence; 3) Provisionally Accommodated, referring to those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure, and finally, 4) At Risk of Homelessness, referring to people who are not homeless, but whose current economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards. It should be noted that for many people homelessness is not a static state but rather a fluid experience, where one’s shelter circumstances and options may shift and change quite dramatically and with frequency.

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.

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (2012) Canadian Definition of Homelessness.
Homeless Hub: www.homelesshub.ca/homelessdefinition/  (pdf)

Here is another definition of Canadian homelessnes.

Homelessness is an extreme form of poverty and social exclusion. Simply put, people who are homeless do not have safe, affordable, appropriate, permanent housing to which they can return whenever they choose. This includes people who are absolutely homeless and are living on the streets or in shelters, the ‘hidden homeless’ who are staying with friends, relatives or in institutional settings, and those ‘at risk’ of homelessness, whose current economic and housing situation is precarious.

Homelessness can result from a combination of individual and structural factors. Individual factors that can contribute to homelessness include: deep poverty, mental or physical illness, addiction, trauma, abuse, lack of education and a lack of supportive relationships.

Structural causes of homelessness are social and economic in nature, and are often outside the control of the individual or family concerned. These may include:

  • poverty;
  • a lack of affordable housing;
  • housing policies;
  • the structure and administration of government support; and
  • wider policy developments, such as the closure of  psychiatric hospitals.

The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness
http://www.caeh.ca/about-homelessness/

Dignity for All, a campaign between Citizens for Public Justice and Canada Without Poverty, reveals that homelessness will end if all levels of government (including First Nations, Métis governments, and Inuit Land Claim Organizations) collaborate to prevent homelessness.

“The Special Rapporteur calls for Canada to adopt a comprehensive and coordinated national housing policy based on indivisibility of human rights and the protection of the most vulnerable. This national strategy should include measurable goals and timetables, consultation and collaboration with affected communities, complaints procedures, and transparent accountability mechanisms.30
Miloon Kothari, Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Report: Mission to Canada October 2007. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights

http://www.cwp-csp.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/DignityForAll_Report-English-FINAL.compressed.pdf

This growing crisis, Housing and Homelessness (March 2011), is delineated in Dignity for All’s recently released report, A National Anti-Poverty Plan for Canada, as follows.

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Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness Videos

Your Input: Canadian Poverty Consultation for Ontario Until October 2013

This video presents “David Hulchanski: Toronto’s Three Cities.”

  • A new report details three cities within Toronto: the wealthy city, the middle-class city and the low-income city.
  • But if David Hulchanski’s research holds true, there will only be two cities in the near future: the rich and the poor.
  • What has caused this disparity? And what can be done to reverse the cycle?

The Ontario government  had launched Breaking the Cycle: Ontario’s Poverty Reduction Strategy in 2008.

Poverty is no longer just a cycle wherein poorly-paid workers are struggling to “keep up with skyrocketing costs in housing, tuition and energy.”

This title should be revised and updated to ‘Breaking the Path to Poverty’ so as to be fitting to the reality of the present economy.

In today’s economy, the significant loss of  Canadian jobs due to outsourcing, dearth of middle-income jobs due to technology/digital revolution, and rampant job insecurity are all causal factors to almost instantaneous poverty for many hard-working individuals.

The shrinking middle class trend goes hand-in-hand with the growing poverty trend in this economy of  “anaemic GDP growth“, which is delineated by of the Toronto Star as follows.

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Community Frugal Crowd Health & Wellness Videos

Put Food in the Budget: Please Urge Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to Raise Social Assistance Rates Now!

This video (May 27, 2013) presents “Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne, announces social assistance plans at City Hall in Windsor.”

  • Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the City of Windsor’s Employment and Training Services today to highlight the government’s commitment to transforming social assistance, helping people keep more of their hard-earned money while entering the workforce.

  • In the 2013 Budget, the government laid out its plan to move forward on implementing key recommendations from the Lankin-Sheikh report by creating a $200 monthly earnings exemption for people who receive benefits from Ontario Works and the Ontario Disability Support Program.

  • The government would also increase social assistance rates, create more inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities and work to reduce poverty rates in Ontario.

  • The 2013 Budget is designed to create jobs and help people in their everyday lives. By taking steps to remove barriers to employment, the government wants to make it easier for more social assistance recipients to enter the workforce and ensure that everyone in Ontario is treated fairly.

Hundreds of thousands of Ontario residents in Canada do not have enough to eat each month and, thus, are forced to go to food banks every month because of inadequate incomes.

Since 1970 the middle class is shrinking as poverty is growing in Toronto.

Here are some statistics on food banks in Canada.

  • 900,000 Canadians used food banks in 2010.
  • 50 percent of people who need food banks stay away out of shame.
  • $6.6 billion is the annual estimated cost of unhealthy eating in Canada.
  • 38 percent increase in the number of working poor in Canada between 1998 to 2008.
  • More than 10,000 people have completed the Do the Math campaign highlighting inadequate welfare rates.

The Toronto Star gives the following statistics regarding who’s on social assistance as of June 2012.

  • Ontario Works (OW)
    • 477,339 individuals, or about 3.6 per cent of the population;
    • 171,867 are children;
    • average age: 36;
    • 60 per cent of cases are singles;
    • 30 per cent are single parents;
    • 3 per cent are couples without children;
    • 8 per cent are couples with children; and
    • about 75 per cent of children are in families led by single parents.
  • Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP)

    • 415,338 individuals or about 3.1 per cent of the population;
    • 43 percent of applicants have a physical disability;
    • 39 percent have a mental disability;
    • 18 percent have a developmental disability;
    • about 60 percent of new applicants in 2009-10 were suffering from mental illness;
    • 59,403 are children;
    • average age: 46;
    • 77 per cent are singles;
    • 9 per cent are single parents;
    • 8 per cent are couples without children;
    • 6 per cent are couples with children; and
    • just over half of children are in families led by single parents.

In the following letter, Put Food in the Budget is asking for our help to urge Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne to immediately raise social assistance rates to levels that ensure lives of health and dignity.

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Please Help Livestock Farmers: Donations Needed to Move Hay from Western to Eastern Canada

This video presents ” October 26, 2012″:

  • HayEast Promo: Load of hay goes from Avonlea to Ontario in late October as part of the HayEast efforts

HayEast 2012 is a partnership involving farm organizations across Canada:

  • The program is a follow-up to the HayWest program that saw thousands of eastern Canadian farmers send forages to Western Canada in 2002 to help alleviate the effects of that region’s drought
  • Organizers say western Canadian farmers are eager to reciprocate that goodwill to help Ontario and Quebec farmers who face a hay shortage following record-low rainfall in some areas

Organizers of HayEast 2012 have issued an urgent plea for Canadians and Canadian businesses to provide donations to support the transportation of donated hay from Western to Eastern Canada:

  • Governments will provide, on a cost-shared basis, up to $500,000 for transportation costs to help move donated hay to Ontario farms through HayEast
  • Governments will also match, on a cost-shared basis, monetary donations made to HayEast up to $2.5 million
  • Ontario livestock farmers have requested over 60,000 bales of hay through the HayEast initiative

Donations of financial support or hay will be greatly appreciated: