The Canadian Definition of Homelessness
posted on November 16, 2017
What do you think of when you think of homelessness? Do you think of people living and sleeping on the street? As it turns out that is only one aspect of homelessness. According to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (COH) homelessness is described as:
“the situation of an individual, family or community without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination. Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, unhealthy, unsafe, stressful and distressing.”(Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, 2012).
As mentioned earlier having no shelter at all is only a part of being homeless.
People are Considered Homeless If They Are
- Unsheltered, or absolutely homeless and living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation;
- Emergency Sheltered, including those staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence;
- Provisionally Accommodated, referring to those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure, and finally,
- At Risk of Homelessness, referring to people who are not homeless, but whose current economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards.
Click here for a complete & in-depth definition.
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness. (2012.) Canadian Definition of Homelessness. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press. Retrieved from http://www.homelesshub.ca/homelessdefinition
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