Chapter Overview

We begin this chapter by presenting a composite scenario that reflects real-world experiences of homelessness in Canada, as they pertain to politics, policy, and housing. As you work through the scenario, you are encouraged to adopt both an empathic perspective, to consider your own response(s) within the scenario, and a critical perspective, to think about how the scenario represents larger issues impacting people in our society.


After considering the real-world scenario, we will endeavour to answer each question posed in the learning objectives. What housing policy existed in the past? Is Housing First a solution to homelessness? What is happening with housing and homelessness policy today? Throughout this chapter, we will examine these three questions, using academic literature, featured articles, lived experience representation, multi-media activities, and virtual guest lectures from some of Canada’s leading homelessness researchers.


At the end of the chapter, we will return to the scenario presented at the beginning and reconsider it in light of what has been learned. Together we will see how a framework of being trauma-informed, person-centred, socially inclusive, and situated within the social determinants of health is critical for understanding homelessness in Canada. These concepts will re-emerge in each chapter throughout this book to demonstrate the complexity and inter-connected nature of these issues.


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Understanding Homelessness in Canada Copyright © 2022 by Kristy Buccieri, James Davy, Cyndi Gilmer, and Nicole Whitmore is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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