We kicked off last week at the Homeless Hub with a post by Nick Falvo on public policy responding to homelessness over the past decade. Two points really stand out in his post. First off, federal funding for homelessness programs has decreased by roughly 36% since the start of funding initiative back in 1999. Secondly, and more optimistically, the final results of the At Home/Chez Soi study on homelessness and mental health will likely be released in the next six months. The results are expected to further prove that 'housing first' works so stay tuned!

Last week's infographic sheds light on homelessness in the city of Red Deer, Alberta. Based on a Point in Time count this infographic captures important information on the homeless population. The post goes into the politics of Red Deer too. A new mayor's just been elected, in part, on expanding affordable housing in the community. If the will is there we could see drops in some of the figures in the future.

Tanya Gulliver wrapped up our blogs last week with her post on Aboriginal Homelessness. She managed to attend two different events on Aboriginal homelessness that brought together researchers, front-line service providers, community agencies, and community members to engage in discussion about housing and homelessness needs of the Aboriginal community. The highlight of her post was an essay that she reposted by a teenaged youth on Aboriginal history. 

The 2013 Saint John Homelessness Report Card also just came out. Although there are large sections of the homeless population that fly under the radar (such as couch surfers, people staying with family or people in temporary boarding houses) this report card looks at how many people have used emergency services in 2012. What we can prove though is that more people are using emergency housing service this year than the year before. 

This Huffington Post article on the lack of an anti-poverty initiative from the throne speech has been getting a lot of buzz. The article's main focus is the recent rise in food insecurity in Canada. With the number of people visiting food banks increasing every month there is cause to worry that a growing number of Canadians simply cannot afford food. Food insecurity is a clear indication of rising poverty. To tackle this the article stresses the need for a federal food security plan to end hunger nation-wide

Two interesting academic articles on youth homelessness just recently came out. One article focused on recent research on the homeless population that have come out of "in care" or foster care programs. Surprisingly, about 50% of the people they sampled reported a history in-care. Most of them identified as young, female and Aboriginal. Given this, the authors suggest that policies and interventions should reflect the vulnerabilities of this group. 

The other article looked at homeless youth's interactions with the criminal justice system. After surveying 186 homeless youth, the researhers found that the reasoning for arrests were often complex. There are also links between the arrests of a youth and substance abuse, the length of time spent homeless, and depression. It's a stark reminder that issues facing youth on the street are very complex.