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People who are homeless
Walking by someone who is suffering, whether it be at your workplace, on the street, in the playground, anywhere, will not make this world a better place. If you and I don’t care enough to make a difference then making change is impossible. -Hannah
Housing has been declared a fundamental human right. Homeless advocates estimate that the number of people who are considered absolute homeless in Canada is around 300,000. While attaining a 100% accurate figure on the number of people who live without a home is very difficult, we do know that the reasons that people become homeless are as varied as an individual’s history.
Where do people who are homeless sleep?
Many people find shelter in emergency shelters, where sleeping quarters range from semi private single cots to mats on the floor.
These may be full, so they also sleep in parkades, under bridges, in doorways – wherever some shelter can be found. While some people who are homeless die in the cold of Canadian winters, more die due to extreme heat in summers.
Are people homeless because they don’t have enough money to live somewhere?
Money is part of the problem. Other issues that people who are homeless struggle with are addictions, abuse, illiteracy, and mental or emotional illness.
Don’t government programs take care of people who are homeless?
Welfare provides very little food, clothing and other basic necessities. Private relief agencies help, but demands are growing.
What do people who are homeless need to have a better life?
They really need people and agencies that will give them help, hope, healing and teaching.
What do people who are homeless have in common with people who are not?
Like us, all people who are homeless were once children who dreamed of nice lives and important jobs when they grew up. None of them ever wanted to be homeless. Sadly, life has not turned out that way. They need our help.
What causes homelessness?
Many factors contribute to the increase in Canada’s homeless community. Some consistent items include high unemployment rates, particularly among the youth. The breakdown of family units, along with family violence increases why women are leaving their homes with their children. One final reason is the closure and overcrowding of mental institutions, leaving many patients on the streets to fend for themselves.
Not having a permanent address, or living in downtown hotels makes applying for jobs embarrassing and socially isolates individuals from the rest of society. The longer anyone remains homeless, the greater the social and economic costs.
Homelessness and poverty is a lack of opportunity and a lack of freedom. It is hunger and malnutrition, disease and lack of basic social services. It degrades people – those who suffer it, and those who tolerate it. IT is the gravest insult to human dignity.*