World Homelessness Day

Oct 10 2021

Unsheltered CampaignExtreme resilience in the face of abuse, trauma, loss, death, exclusion due to disability, poverty and health challenges - this is what we need to remember on the commemoration of the World Homelessness Day. There is a strong correlation between mental health issues and homelessness. We cannot tell which came first, but once both factors are present they form a vicious cycle which makes interventions/supports challenging and complex, usually violent and criminalizing in itself.

2021 Point in Time Count of Homeless called on Social Development Centre's staff and community connectors to join and collect stories about predicaments experienced of the unhomed and displaced that go beyond surveying and counting. We will share more in the weeks to come, but for today, we wish to recognize people among us who are afraid, traumatized and antagonistic towards any encounter with the systems that haven’t and still have nothing to offer towards the resolution of their predicaments without blame and criminalization. Today, we are reminded of the resilience we are all capable of, but we see it most clearly in desperate poverty and exclusion of the sick, disabled and marginalized who survive against the harshest conditions and weather, sanctioned violence and despair. Homelessnesss is not a crime. Crime is a made up concept to protect privilege and resources for some. We tend to criminalize those who have less power or are considered a threat to the systems, while today, we can reject the criminalization of poverty and homelessness. 

WR Crime Prevention Council's Up Stream Speaker Series on criminalization and incarcerative systems. 

Ontario Association for Elimination of Homelessness ten point plan to eliminate poverty and homelessness.

Unsheltered Campaign's call for decriminalization of homelessness.