Collective Response To Homelessness In Canada

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Individuals who are homeless experience social exclusion from society, and this results in a lack of knowledge and understanding about this population. Chappell (2014), suggests that "... approximately 80,000 people are homeless on any given day in Canada" (p. 248). More than 47 percent of the homeless population are single males between the ages of 25 and 55; whereas 20 percent is comprised of youth between the ages of 16 and 24 (Chappell, 2014). Additionally, many of whom are of Aboriginal descent and live with mental illness, addiction, or disability (Chappell 2014). This demographic information illustrates that the number of young people under 24 experiencing homelessness in Toronto comprise only a fifth this population, while almost …show more content…

The collective response to homeless Toronto youth engaging in squeegeeing contributed to the implementation of the SSA in 1999. According to Parnaby (2003), the prevalence and impact of 'squeegee kids ' in Toronto in the late 1990s became a source of frustration for drivers, pedestrians, and business owners. "At that time it was common for motorists to encounter squeegee-toting street youth who would wash car windshields for spare change, and more and more panhandlers became visible on city streets" (O 'Grady et al., 2013, p. 544). A negative perception of this population developed through these interactions. The media also contributed to the public perception of homeless youth. O 'Grady et al. (2011) describe the moral panic that existed in media reports of the 1990s. Media accounts of squeegeeing were sensational, using words such as 'plague ' and 'infestation ' (O 'Grady et al., 2011). This approach to reporting contributed to the growing discomfort

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