Homelessness In Canada Essay

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Homelessness is an ongoing issue in Canadian society, which impacts thousands of lives every year. While Canada is internationally regarded as a wealthy and prosperous country, the Canadian government has failed to systemically address what is considered to be a ‘hidden’ issue. Due to a lack of organized numeration, much of the data regarding Canada’s homeless population remains incomplete. While the homelessness issue is swept under the rug, many Canadians inch closer to the poverty line every year, often resulting in transitional, episodic, or chronic homelessness. Several factors contribute to homelessness, however, fundamental issues stem from unaffordable housing, lack of income security, and racial disparity.
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Ultimately, these inequities play a significant role in contributing to homelessness. When considering the colonial history of Canada, a vast majority of the Indigenous community remains affected by generations of systemic prejudice and discrimination. Thus, Indigenous communities suffer from inherent socio-economic difficulties in comparison to non-Indigenous citizens. According to a study done by Statistics Canada, “First Nations people living off reserve (12%), Metis (6%) and Inuit (10%)” are more likely to have experienced unsheltered homelessness than the non-Indigenous population (Statistics Canada, 2022). Systemic oppression has resulted in large-scale impoverishment among those of Indigenous descent, contributing to difficulties in pursuing employment and education. Many Indigenous youths succumb to the intergenerational effects of colonization and residential school experiences, making up “only 4.3% of the overall Canadian population but comprise 30.6% of the youth homelessness population” (Greater Victoria Coalition, 2022). Racialized individuals represent a disproportionate amount of those experiencing homelessness in Canada, not limited to the Indigenous population. Among those who are marginalized include refugees and newcomers to Canada, who face language, employment, and cultural barriers. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness (2021b) notes that difficulties surrounding access to affordable and available housing options combined with a lack of access to transportation or lack of credit history put newcomers at an increased risk of homelessness. Structural challenges in Canada’s socio-economic infrastructure pose an overall increased risk of certain communities falling into situations of poverty and

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