Shedding light on injury-related ER visits for homeless

Detailed data will help community organizations in Alberta develop effective injury prevention programs

Shedding light on injury-related ER visits for homelessA new report from the Injury Prevention Centre is the first in Alberta to provide data on injury-related emergency department visits by people experiencing houselessness – information that will help community organizations deliver injury prevention programs tailored to the distinct health-care needs of this population. “This is the first step in understanding what the injury issues are,” says…

Pilot program offers hope for the homeless

May be a solution for most of the homeless people in Canada

Pilot program offers hope for the homelessAs most of us remembered on Canada Day, this is a pretty good country to live in. It’s hard to think of a better one. But it’s not perfect. We do have some serious problems that need fixing, like homelessness. In a country as rich as Canada, no one should have to go hungry, and…

Breakup of Toronto homeless encampment has national implications

Allowing homeless people to live in city parks is unsafe, unwise and unnecessary

Breakup of Toronto homeless encampment has national implicationsFor the second time in slightly more than a year, Toronto’s Trinity Bellwoods Park is in the news. Roughly 10,000 people rushed into the park in May 2020 to enjoy a few hours of sunshine and socialization. Most of them were in their 20s and 30s and had expressed frustration at having been cooped up…

Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by business

Not only does work help financially but it empowers people to take control of their lives and rise above poverty

Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by businessHomelessness is increasingly a problem in cities big and small across North America. Yet as business leaders we tend think the issue isn’t our problem – unless, of course, we have a business affected by a homeless camp, squatters in our doorsteps or addicts in our alleyways. We can’t comprehend why people aren’t working like…

Growing number of seniors lack support of family, friends

Unbefriended,’ these isolated seniors require more help to safeguard their access to basic daily needs, including companionship, and improve their quality of life

Growing number of seniors lack support of family, friendsBy Stephanie A. Chamberlain and Carole A. Estabrooks University of Alberta What happens when a person grows older and can no longer make health and financial decisions for themselves – but also doesn’t have family or friends who can make those decisions on their behalf? Health and social services use a hard-hitting term to describe…

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustified

Money budgeted for an elevated greenway for walkers and bikers should go to housing the homeless or easing traffic congestion

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustifiedVancouver is a great city. For people like me who use their feet for most of their transportation, it’s wonderful. But sometimes city decision-makers go overboard. For recreation and exercise, there’s the 28-km seawall, part of which circles Stanley Park. It’s been voted the best place to run in Canada. There’s also the nine-km Arbutus…

Reaching out, leaning in to improve mental health

Connie Jakab of Movement with a Message talks about addressing mental wellness concerns at home and in the workplace

Reaching out, leaning in to improve mental healthConnie Jakab is a mental health speaker and owner of Movement with a Message. Tell me what Movement with a Message is all about? Jakab: Movement With A Message is about building community, courage and compassion in our society. We do this through school workshops, mental health presentations with our National Hope Talks division (nationalhopetalks.com),…

Blame the parents for suffering of children on the margins

Developmentally delayed children come into a failing welfare system due to irresponsible parents placing substance abuse ahead of their children

Blame the parents for suffering of children on the marginsMore than half of Winnipeg’s Indigenous homeless population are former wards of Child and Family Services (CFS). A former CFS ward explained on CBC recently that the 50 per cent figure was too low, not taking into account the significant number of former wards who “couch surf.” This group relies on the kindness of acquaintances…

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptom

We need to address contributing factors to homelessness, including mental illness, addictions and poverty

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptomTonight, an increasing number of Canadians face the prospect of sleeping in a tent – not to welcome the summer camping season but as a last resort. Unlike regulated campgrounds, tent cities are without electricity, water and often bathrooms. These makeshift encampments appear to be on the rise with Winnipeg and Nanaimo, B.C., being two…

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistance

It’s more effective to supplement rents in times of high vacancy because each dollar spent gets the tenant more

Saskatchewan budget misses opportunity on rental housing assistanceIn the recent Saskatchewan budget, the government made the surprise announcement that it would slowly phase out a rental housing assistance program known as the Saskatchewan Rental Housing Supplement. Given current rental housing market realities, the government ought to have done the complete opposite and expanded the program. High vacancy rates create a desirable climate…

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordable

As homes age, they should filter through various socio-economic strata. But construction approval roadblocks slow that process to a crawl

Market factors, not national strategies, make housing affordableBy Josef Filipowicz and Steve Lafleur The Fraser Institute The federal government’s new National Housing Strategy will benefit specific groups but doesn’t target broader affordability issues in Canada’s most expensive housing markets. The strategy includes a portable “housing benefit” of $2,500 per year, on average, to low-income households. It also proposes the construction or renovation of hundreds…

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself

The desire to love and serve others is innate in the human spirit. And those traits can help us accomplish great things as a society

Bring out the best in others by bringing out the best in yourself“You get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want,” said writer and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar. There’s tremendous depth to this statement and as many interpretations as there are people on the planet. It shines in direct contrast to the ideal of the rugged individualist so…

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginning

The National Housing Strategy’s $40-billion investment is good news for Canada. But the devil is in the details

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginningAt last, Canada stands with other developed nations with its new National Housing Strategy (NHS). But while this historic step forward by the federal government represents what many activists have sought for decades, is it time to rejoice? Will the staggering $40 billion promised over 10 years amend nearly a quarter of a century of federal…

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessness

Homelessness costs Canadians big money without addressing the causes

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessnessFor most of his life, Murray Barr was an ordinary American. Everything changed abruptly when his story of personal tragedy and period of homelessness created a media frenzy. Malcom Gladwell, in his article Million Dollar Murray, used Murray as an example of how homelessness was costing taxpayers in Reno, Nevada, around $1 million despite Murray not…

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine Hat

By eliminating homelessness, the Alberta city has reduced the crime rate, the workload on first responders, hospital emergency visits and pressure on the courts

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine HatFormer American president Jimmy Carter said, “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” Serving those in need may seem simply like the charitable thing to do. When we look a bit deeper, however, we see that many social programs help the entire population. Even on a…