Research Summaries

Research Summaries

Publication Date: 2013
The economic boom that occurred in Alberta in the mid-2000s drew people to the city of Calgary, putting greater pressure on affordable housing and social services, and increased the number of youth on the streets. The number of homeless people in Calgary went up 32% between 2004 and 2006, and the youth homeless population grew at an even faster rate than the adult homeless population. For youth and health service providers in Calgary,...
Publication Date: 2013
It is widely known that mental health challenges are common in youth who are street-involved, and include depression, hopelessness, self-harm, as well as issues with substance use. There is also a clear relationship between the stress of homelessness and emotional distress, such as depression and suicide. Futhermore, the mental health challenges of street-involved youth may interfere with their ability to access services to improve...
Publication Date: 2013
Many jurisdictions in Canada and the United States have responded to the growing visibility of homelessness with measures that have sought to restrict the rights of homeless people to occupy and inhabit public spaces such as street corners and parks, and prohibit behaviours such as sleeping in public or earning money through begging or squeegee cleaning. This serves as the basis for what has come to be known as the criminalization of...
Publication Date: 2013
The primary goal of most harm-reduction approaches is to meet individuals where they are at and not ignore or condemn the harmful behaviours, but rather to work with the individual or community to minimize the harmful effects of a given behaviour. Canadian policy on substance use has been moving in the wrong direction since its 2007 National Anti-Drug strategy, which excluded harm reduction. Harm reduction is an important public health...
Publication Date: 2013
Immigrants have become a major presence in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), with some estimates suggesting approximately 50% of Toronto residents are now foreign born. It is important to understand their needs, particularly as immigrants are more likely to be vulnerable to housing insecurity and homelessness compared to those born in Canada. In addition, some research has shown that homeless youth from minority groups may be more...
Publication Date: 2013
The childhood favourite “Where’s Waldo?” can teach us three lessons. The first is that in public spaces we are nearly always seen, even when we do not want to be – homeless youth understand this, trying to blend into the background at certain times, while drawing attention to themselves at others. Second, where one stands largely determines whether one will be seen – in some places and spaces favoured by homeless youth, like parks,...

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