HOMELESSNESS & The Causes Of Homelessness #HomelessHub #SalvationArmy

Reproduced from: Stephen Gaetz, Jesse Donaldson, Tim Richter, & Tanya Gulliver (2013) The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.

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. 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. Key factors can include the lack of adequate income, access to affordable housing and health supports and/or the experience of discrimination. Shifts in the economy both nationally and locally can create challenges for people to earn an adequate income, pay for food and for housing…

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: traumatic events (e.g. house fire or job loss), personal crisis (e.g. family break-up or domestic violence), mental health and addictions challenges (including brain injury and fetal alcohol syndrome), which can be both a cause and consequence of homelessness and physical health problems or disabilities. Relational problems can include family violence and abuse, addictions, and mental health problems of other family members and extreme poverty.

Read more at … http://www.homelesshub.ca/about-homelessness/homelessness-101/causes-homelessness

FURTHER READING

Nowhere Else to Go: Inadequate Housing & Risk of Homelessness Among Families in Toronto’s Aging Rental Buildings

The Causes of Homelessness Among Older People in England

Homelessness – Causes & Effects (Volume 4): Background Report – a Profile and Policy Review of Homelessness in the Provinces of Ontario, Quebec and Alberta

The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013

Pathways to youth homelessness

Aboriginal Youth Talk about Structural Determinants as the Causes of their Homelessness

Keeping the Homeless Housed: An exploratory study of determinants of Homelessness in the Toronto community

Causes of homelessness among older people in Melbourne, Australia

From Homeless to Home: learning from people who have been homeless in Ottawa