EmmaWoolley's blog

Is giving homeless people menial work exploitative or helpful?

Last week, a reader alerted us to this 2013 story, in which BBH Labs paid 13 homeless people to walk around Austin, Texas carrying 4G wireless hotspots during South by Southwest—an annual music, film, and technology festival. The project, called “Homeless Hotspots,” faced a lot of criticism from people who thought it was exploitative.


Why is homelessness still a problem?

When we have so many social services in a city like Hamilton, ON, how is it possible that homelessness is still so prominent?

We received this question from Kathleen M., who passed it on from a student.


How to raise awareness about hidden homelessness

Homelessness is basically invisible in our community. How do we get the message out that it really does exist even though we don't see people sleeping on park benches? - Ruth

Thanks for the question Ruth! First, I want to acknowledge that your community isn’t out of the ordinary. Most people experiencing homelessness fall under the “provisionally accommodated” category of homelessness and are what most people call the “hidden homeless.”


Do cold weather alerts need to be revised?

Written with contributions from Tanya Gulliver-Garcia

The deaths of two men in Toronto who appear to have been homeless has people questioning Toronto Public Health’s strategy for issuing cold weather alerts. A possible third death in Canada was reported by CBC’s The National in a news report this week but no further information was provided.


How does homelessness affect senior women?

Due to the complex nature of homelessness—and our inability to count everyone experiencing it—the statistics vary on how many senior women are homeless.


Do single parents contribute to homelessness?

While it’s true that many single-parent families (overwhelmingly led by women) are at risk of becoming homeless, the family structure itself isn’t to blame.


Why do homeless people have pets?

There are many positive effects associated with pet ownership, including improved physical and mental health, as shown in J. Sherpell’s study. As such, many people in North America consider pets an extension of family—some would argue that a home just isn’t a home without animals. (I have two cats and a dog, and definitely fall under this category.)