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Lack of government support gave rise to homelessness

Women Causes Of Homelessness People who are homeless are not a distinct and separate population. In fact the line between being homeless and not being homeless is quite fluid.

Further Reading

In general, the pathways into and out of homelessness are neither linear nor uniform. Individuals and families who wind up homeless may not share much in common with each other, aside from the fact that they are extremely vulnerable, and lack adequate housing and income and the necessary supports to ensure they stay housed.

The causes of homelessness reflect an intricate interplay between structural factors, systems failures and individual circumstances. Homelessness is usually the result of the cumulative impact of a number of factors, rather than a single cause. Structural factors are economic and societal issues that affect opportunities and social environments for individuals.

Causes Of Homelessness

Shifts in the economy both nationally and locally can create challenges for people to earn an adequate income, pay for food and for housing. Homelessness and poverty are inextricably linked. People who are poor are frequently unable to pay for necessities such as housing, food, childcare, health care, and education.

Being poor can mean a person is one illness, one accident, or one paycheck away from living on the streets. A critical shortage of housing that is affordable, safe and stable directly contributes to homelessness. Arguably, the most impactful factor is the lack of affordable housing nationwide however; discrimination can impede access to employment, housing, justice and helpful services. Racial and sexual minorities are at greater risk of such discrimination.

Systems failures occur when other systems of care and support fail, requiring vulnerable people to turn to the homelessness sector, when other mainstream services could have prevented this need. Examples of systems failures include difficult transitions from child welfare, inadequate discharge planning for people leaving hospitals, corrections and mental health and addictions facilities and a lack of support for immigrants and refugees.

Individual and relational factors apply to the personal circumstances of a homeless person, and may include: Relational problems can include family violence and abuse, addictions, and mental health problems of other family members and extreme poverty. There is an undeniable connection between domestic violence and homelessness. Family violence, estimated to affect 2 million Canadians, Statistics Canada, 2011 can force individuals and families to leave home suddenly, without proper supports in place.

This is particularly an issue for youth and women, especially those with children. Women who experience violence and who live in poverty, are often forced to choose between abusive relationships and homelessness. Young people, that are victims of sexual, physical or psychological abuse often become homeless. As well, seniors that are experiencing abuse and neglect are increasingly at risk of homelessness. Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.

  • Racial and sexual minorities are at greater risk of such discrimination;
  • There is an undeniable connection between domestic violence and homelessness;
  • Individual and relational factors apply to the personal circumstances of a homeless person, and may include;
  • People who are poor are frequently unable to pay for necessities such as housing, food, childcare, health care, and education.