Category Archives: The Basics

Homelessness Is Incredibly Expensive

In London, we spend $9.8M per year for the 1500-2000 people who are experiencing homelessness (the bulk of this going to the 600 or so who are ‘absolutely homeless’).  That means we spend between $4900  and $6533 per person/per year. … Continue reading

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The Faith-Based Dilemma

I have had some fascinating conversations of the past few months regarding the challenges of faith-based organizations working in the social services, and the underlying evangelical mandate.  However, that is not what I want to discuss in the post, rather … Continue reading

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Social Services as an Option

When I had an opportunity to speak to the Senate’s “In From the Margins” report, the focus was on factors in the social support system that actually keep people stuck in poverty.  A friend recently highlighted to me that people … Continue reading

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The Escalator Metaphor

There’s something about poverty.  When you look at research in any area, mental health, physical health, food, housing, education, any of the determinants of health really, poverty comes up as a crucial factor.  In all cases, poverty seems to exacerbate … Continue reading

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Involving People Experiencing Homelessness in Decision-Making

It is a perennial challenge within services who work with people experiencing homelessness: How do we ensure that the service users themselves have a say in the running of our service?  Many different models have been used, from having users … Continue reading

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Homelessness is to be De-Housed

In Canada, no one is born into homelessness (well, not absolutely, but I’ll blog about that later).  The moment of homelessness, regardless of what precipitates it, is about people running out of funds to support their housing.  For most, this … Continue reading

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Mental Health Care and Social Housing

I had the opportunity last week to participate in a focus group hosted by the SouthWest LHIN (Local Health Integration Network) regarding the third phase of mental health integration and the role that social housing can play. In a nutshell, … Continue reading

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Balancing Cure and Relationship

When feeling drawn to take action on homelessness, many of us fall into a curative stance, that is, we want to fix others.  This is done out of best intentions, the desire to alleviate suffering, but can become pejorative and … Continue reading

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Lets Support Supportive Housing

As a follow up to my meeting with the Mayor, I had a chance to participate in a housing round table, where members of the community presented reflections on social housing to MP John McCallum.  This follows a blog post … Continue reading

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Doing Things Smarter

Ask me five or six years ago what I thought of data collection to demonstrate outcomes while I was working full-time as a street nurse, and I would have told you it sounds like a complete waste of time.  With … Continue reading

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