Why Homelessness Makes No Sense

Why Homelessness Makes No Sense

by Katarina Ziervogel

Next week, from October 25-27, the National Conference on Ending Homelessness will take place in Winnipeg. Here Katarina Ziervogel writes about the vulnerabilities for homeless people, and why we must work together to end homelessness.


Annually, 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness on a range from mild to severe form. It is one of the biggest issues in Canada today, and the question is why and how important it is to end homelessness.


Living on the street can have a negative impact on an individual’s mental and physical health, regardless of the background they emerged from. Not only are they prone to developing mental illnesses, such as depression but they are prone to physical illnesses such as tuberculosis and nutritional defence. Unfortunately, the worst of all, the exposure to living on the street can lead to the possibility of physical/sexual abuse due to the lack of protection out there.


Statistically, more than one in four homeless people in Canada are women, one in four are of elderly age and one in five are youth. In addition to that, Indigenous people are ten times more likely to be homeless than non-Indigenous people and that is rather alarming. Which brings us to the question why it is extremely important to end homelessness, and it calls for our action to put stop to it.


Ending the homelessness will cost the government less fortune than with it being one of Canada’s existing problems. The government has to spend more money on emergency shelters, health care and incarceration because of the mental/physical health homeless people faces everyday, in which requires the extra service from government. But if they were no longer homeless, they would not require the extra service.


Hence the importance of ending homelessness, but it will continue to be an issue if we do not address it.