Over two hundred years ago, Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. Since that time, most people have come to understand the importance of prevention in dealing with major social, economic, and health problems.  For instance, it is better to prevent cancer, measles, the flu, or other illnesses than have to deal with the consequences. This kind of thinking has influenced how we approach crime, road safety, and many other problems.

So how about...

This question came to us from Mike D. through our latest survey.

I’m glad that this question is being asked as it touches on a number of shifts in public policy that restrict the daily lives of homeless people including subsistence strategies such as panhandling, squeegeeing, and sleeping in public spaces. Often,...

York University; Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
November 15, 2016
Categories: Topics

November 13th to the 19th is National Addiction Awareness Week, an occasion that highlights issues and solutions to help address alcohol and other drug-related harm. It also provides an opportunity for Canadians to learn more about substance use prevention, strategies for treatment and recovery and to bring about solutions for change. Indeed, it is a critical point in time to discuss drug...

Canadian Observatory on Homelessness/Homeless Hub: York University
December 18, 2015
Categories: Ask the Hub

This question came from Ryan W. via our latest website survey: How can we develop policy solutions which bridge the urban/rural differences in homelessness in some way?

Homelessness is often considered a big city problem, but it exists in rural and northern communities too. As we’re always writing here at Homeless Hub,...

York University
December 10, 2014

The Ontario Safe Streets Act (SSA) exists as one of the clearest and most obvious examples of the creation of new laws that contribute to the criminalization of homelessness. This provincial legislation, which came into effect in January 2000, in response to the growing visibility of homelessness in Toronto and other major cities in the 1990s, while never mentioning homelessness specifically, clearly targets homeless persons.


University of Toronto
March 25, 2014

The crime of 'being suspicious' seems to be making a return as the state seems ever more keen to police the poor and vulnerable. The recent case of 'stolen food' from Iceland is a perfect example.

Homeless man in London. Flickr/Deadly Sirius

The abandoned prosecution against three men for ‘skipping’ food from an Iceland grocery bin in North London last month caused public outrage and disbelief. A recurring feature of this...

Justice for Children and Youth
September 24, 2013

A key component of my work is providing legal options to homeless youth ages 16-24 in order to find safety and security to stabilize their lives. Unfortunately, what I’ve realized over the years is that there is a glaring lack of legal options for safety and security available to our most vulnerable youth. Youth needing care for the first time after they turn 16 are left with few choices to sustain their safety and security, often leaving them with no option but the shelter system...

London InterCommunity Health Centre
September 05, 2013

August 31 marked International Overdose Awareness Day. IOAD began as an annual event in Australia in 2001. At its core it is a day for remembering and a day for dialogue. For an increasing number of people the issue of overdose and overdose death is very close to home. I personally know far too many people who have died from opiate overdose. Although it seems inconceivable to most of us, overdose deaths are nearly tied with car crashes as the leading...

Calgary Homeless Foundation
August 23, 2010

Just when I think I've got a debate resolved in my head, new research comes along and makes me think again. I'd like to put a question to blog readers... Last year, I wrote

Last year, I wrote a policy paper on the Housing First model of rapid rehousing of the homeless.

In the paper, I argue that the Housing First model,...

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The analysis and interpretations contained in the blog posts are those of the individual contributors and do not necessarily represent the views of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness.