Real Life Scenarios

As you learn about homelessness and the complex ways in which it is experienced, we encourage you to begin with these real life composite scenarios. Take a moment here to pause and consider these people‚Äôs experiences. 


Shruti is a 23-year-old female who arrived in Canada from the US three years ago. She came to Canada originally to go to school. While in school, she was lonely and tried desperately to fit in with others. A young man, who helped her find an apartment, befriended her. He introduced her to alcohol and drugs. He played the role of devoted boyfriend for 4 months and then once she was completely dependent upon him for her drug supply, he started selling her to clients for sex. She became trapped in the sex trafficking trade. After a near fatal overdose, Shruti escaped from this man and disappeared to a new town. She is alone, frightened that he will find her, and has no resources or knowledge of the‚ÄĮsupports‚ÄĮavailable to her.


Mia is a 17-year-old transgender woman fleeing an abusive relationship. She cannot go home to her parents, as they have disowned her for her ‚Äúunacceptable‚ÄĮbehaviour,‚ÄĚ with her father claiming that the ‚Äúdevil‚ÄĚ was ruling her choices and that there is no place for the devil in his home. Mia goes to the local women‚Äôs shelter, whose mandate is to support women fleeing from sexual and domestic abuse. The intake worker indicates that they are very full. When pressed she tells Mia that they have a bed but that she doesn‚Äôt think they will fit in with the other residents (some of whom are children) and that there are no services tailored to their special needs. She is turned away.‚ÄĮ 

Reflection Questions

With this scenario fresh in your mind, consider these reflection questions. You may wish to record your answers before moving on to the next section. We will return to these scenarios again at the end of the chapter. 

Reflection Questions

  • What feelings do you experience when you read each of these scenarios?
  • What is unique about the experience of homelessness for cisgender women (i.e. those who were born female and identify as female)?
  • What is unique about the experiences of the transgender woman in the scenario (i.e. a person who has a gender identity that does not match their sex organs)? What might person-centred care look like for Mia?
  • What is the impact of these two women‚Äôs social isolation?



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License

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.

Share This Book