Though the numbers represented in the infographic are important, it is only part of the picture. It is important to keep in mind real contexts and situations of despair that are caused by experiences of homelessness. This is the strength of this post by the CBC’s Angela MacIvor, which directly pairs the infographic with stories of homelessness in Halifax.

Chantelle, one youth interviewed, was evicted and ended up without sufficient housing. Sometimes even having a job is insufficient for maintaining an apartment. Ralph Hughes, another of the individuals interviewed, explains that pockets of cheaper housing are frequently substandard. Being on a fixed income is a challenge to those who are looking for safe housing. Between 2009 and 2011 237 new affordable housing units were built, during the same period shelter beds were used an additional 7601 times.

Organizations like the Ark (outreach) and the ‘Out of the Cold’ programs offered in local churches in Halifax are important services, however, the long term lack of affordable housing is problematic for those at risk of homelessness in the region.

The series of short interviews provide insight into the range of experiences that lead to homelessness. Often sudden changes in employment, education plans and living conditions (see Jean’s interview with Invisible People) can leave people without support and ultimately without housing. Ending homelessness isn’t a numbers game; it is also fighting against injustice and unnecessary human suffering.

Homeless in Halifax Img