Homeless

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Do You Really Know Your Own Neighbourhood?

I live in a beautiful relatively new glass tower adjacent to King George Skytrain. It's a Concord Pacific development. My building has a concierge, games room, movie theatre, bowling alley, fully-equipped gym, steam room, among other amenities. Holland Park, SFU Surrey, and Central City Mall are all across the street. I have a secure underground parking spot in the heart of the new Surrey City Centre. I basically have been living in my own protected bubble for the last couple of years. So I broke out.
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Bad Laws Are Worse Than Bad Enforcement

Unlike those of us with homes and adequate incomes, people living in poverty are targeted and ticketed for activities necessary to their survival: sleeping in a park, vending goods on the sidewalk, or even setting up a basic shelter such as a tarp or a box in order to survive the night. Municipal bylaws prohibiting those activities stand in the way of people's safety and survival.
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I Will Never Look At Youth Homelessness The Same Again

I can't truly explain how exhausting, challenging and incredibly cold this night was. I had been given a real-life scenario of a homeless youth as a part of 360°kids' 360°Experience. Our experience had us stepping into the shoes of a 16-year-old male, who was unsafe at home and had to leave quickly to save himself.
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How One Toronto Art Piece Shines A Light On Homelessness

Over the past decade, Canada has seen a proliferation of high quality, thoughtful research on homelessness. We now know that homelessness is caused by a combination of individual and systemic factors from unemployment and disability, to lack of coordinated services and a hostile housing market. While the solutions to homelessness are complex, the cause is simple: a lack of affordable housing.
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Saskatoon's Housing Crisis Is a Health Emergency

Despite a strong economy, Saskatchewan has a deficit in access to safe and affordable housing. The Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership performed a "point-in-time" count of people without a home on a given night and found 405 people. The number from these counts has steadily increased. What's especially disturbing is that 45 of the homeless individuals in this year's count were children. Across Canada, an estimated 235,000 people will experience homelessness in the course of a year, with 35,000 homeless on any given night. Beyond those who are homeless, many Canadians struggle to maintain the housing they have.
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Finding Shelter for Homeless LGBT Youth

Earlier this summer, Canada's first transitional housing dedicated to LGBT youth opened in Toronto--the YMCA's Sprott House. Reading about this great initiative raised our awareness about an issue that needs to be on the radar of all Canadians -- the unacceptable rate of LGBT youth who have no place to call home. LGBT youth become homeless for much of the same reasons as other young people -- family conflict, abuse, mental health issues and addiction. LGBT youth also experience higher rates of mental health and addiction issues in large part because of discrimination.
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I May Not Look Homeless, But I Am

A lot of people have the perception that shelter life today is for the junkie, the uneducated, the criminal or the battered wife seeking refuge from her abusive partner. In my experience, most of the people I have met in the shelter system are there for a variety of reasons. In the shelter I have met bank tellers, writers, students and even retirees.

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I've become used to not working like I became used to not being able to afford and wear perfume. When I told someone that I'd hit bottom, he responded, "Then the only way is up!" So I'm digging my way back. In one way homelessness has liberated me and reawakened me to what I most love doing. Since I don't have four walls of my own, a spouse or dependents, the world really is my oyster. Stripped of the old predictable life and strait jacket, it's on to the new creative way of living. As the saying goes, "No risk! No reward!"