Police remove encampment supporters as they clear the Lamport Stadium Park homeless encampment in Toronto in July 2021.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
The redefining of ‘the public’ is a helpful step toward listening to those who have experienced homelessness.
To really reduce homelessness we need to prevent those at risk from ever becoming homeless in the first place.
Toronto Public Health’s tool kit for COVID-19 prevention in congregate living settings contains few references to ventilation, air filtration and other measures to prevent airborne transmission.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
Because COVID-19 is airborne, we can’t know if the shelter system is as safe as it should be without seeing metrics related to ventilation, filtration and occupancy.
Union Square in Manhattan, where many of New York City’s homeless live.
Noam Galai via Getty Images
What happens to unhoused people who get COVID-19?
Australia has housed rough sleepers during the pandemic, unlike the US, but it’s a temporary fix.
Australia found shelter for more than 33,000 rough sleepers and other homeless people during the pandemic, but a coming surge in homelessness demands a comprehensive national housing strategy.
Police involvement is missing persons cases is often necessary.
In the absence of serious efforts by mental health centres, shelters and youth group homes to prevent people from running away from their facilities in the first place, police involvement is necessary.
Pets are a source of physical, psychological and social support for homeless people.
Yui Mok/PA Wire/PA Images
Some people abandon emergency accommodation or refuse to ‘come indoors’ at all, choosing to sleep rough or squat instead.
Inmates work in the laundry room at Las Colinas Women’s Detention Facility in Santee, California, on April 22, 2020.
Sandy Huffaker/AFP via Getty Images
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, missteps in transitioning the incarcerated back to their communities places this already vulnerable populace at greater risk of getting and transmitting the virus.
A homeless person lies in a tent pitched in downtown in Toronto on April 18, 2020. Many of the city’s homeless population have taken to staying in tents around the city as concerns mount about the safety of the shelter system due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young
Police officers are integral front-line workers during this extraordinary crisis. They should be empowered to act as protectors of the vulnerable, not as persecutors of homeless people.
About 12% of transgender Americans have experienced homelessness in the last year.
Transgender people experience high rates of discrimination in housing and shelter services.
People between the ages of 25 and 34 are the largest group of woman who find themselves homeless.
The largest group of homeless women is between the ages of 25 and 34, and family violence is most often the cause. Their stories testify to the dangers and stresses of not having a place to call home.
The public outrage at the killing of Courtney Herron, including a vigil in the park where her body was found, demands more than a knee-jerk response from government.
The brutal killing of a young homeless woman has led to calls for more crisis accommodation. This is a short-term fix. We have to move beyond crisis management to sustained housing for people at risk.
Many homeless shelters are designed to house as many people as possible — not to empower them while they’re there.
Studies show that people’s environments influence their mood. The same is true of homeless shelters, which can either help or hurt residents’ psychological well-being — and, possibly, their futures.