Causes Of Homelessness In Canada

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In Canada, about 235 000 people experience homelessness each year. A homeless individual is defined as “an individual without permanent housing who may live on the streets; stay in a shelter, mission, single room occupancy facilities, abandoned building or vehicle; or in any other unstable or non-permanent situation” (Section 330 of the Public Health Service Act). Many people are quick to judge the homeless, without knowing the actual causes for their struggles. People condemn the homeless by blaming them for their personal failures and inadequacies. However, homelessness is caused by many external and unavoidable factors such as poverty, inadequate income and housing and unstable environments. The majority of society is unaware of the causes …show more content…
However, this is just one of the many misconceptions about the cause of homelessness. “Researchers have identified certain factors that may increase the likelihood that a person will experience homelessness” (Jensen, 1) such as mental illness, inadequate incomes and abusive relationships. These are certain risk factors that can make a person more likely to become homeless. In regards to mental illness, not everyone experiences this health concern; which, is why members of society must educate themselves about the causes of homelessness so that the homeless can gain access to more support. Homeless people with mental illnesses tend to remain homeless for a long period of time seeing as they potentially lose contact with their family. Family is usually their only access to a stable environment and medical attention. In addition, “they encounter more barriers to employment and tend to be in poorer health” (CMHA para 1). They do not have proper medical attention or treatment, which makes it difficult for them to focus on developing work-related skills. Since they need to worry about their health and survival, finding employment is not the most realistic step to recovery. Those with mental illnesses cannot always help themselves and need “a stable and supported living environment [because] it is essential to maintaining the health and well-being of people with serious mental illness and is integral to their recovery” (CMHA para 2). The streets and shelters are not the most ideal stable living environment. Without the proper attention or awareness of their health issues, the homeless are more likely to remain homeless and without support because people often are unware of the struggles that the homeless face, which makes it hard for them to find the help that they need. Society must create proper awareness and stress the importance

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