How has COVID-19 impacted the mental health and substance use patterns of young people who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness? This is one of three questions our team of researchers, knowledge users, and collaborators – including members with lived expertise – is setting out to understand.
- stephanie's blog
COVID-19 has revealed a lot of inequities. For people that are homeless, it has shown how lack of housing puts people’s health and safety at risk due to inability to enact prevention measures. Handwashing and housing are basic protections against COVID-19 and in themselves, harm reduction interventions. In Canada, almost 80% of Canadians use some type of substance.
The global pandemic of COVID-19 has shone a harsh light on the inequities and inadequacies of Canada’s social and economic safety net to protect and support young people at-risk of or experiencing homelessness. The issue of youth homelessness and housing instability, which was largely out of public view, has now been thrown into sharp focus as communities grapple with how to ensure that everyone can be protected from the virus and access even the most basic of needs.
The desire to address inequalities and exclusionary practices within homelessness policy led Wales to become the first country to attempt to fully reorient homelessness services
Those of us who have travelled alongside young people transitioning out of homelessness know how difficult this journey can be. Once housed, they must face the colossal task of pressing forward in the face of monumental social and economic inequities.
The desire to address inequalities and exclusionary practices within homelessness policy led Wales to become the first country to attempt to fully reorient homelessness services toward prevention and to make preventive services universally available. At the heart of the Welsh approach is a legal duty that requires municipal authorities to assist anyone who is at risk of homelessness, or who has become homeless, and seeks help.
Today we celebrate the launch of the Making the Shift (MtS) Youth Homelessness Social Innovation Lab. Making the Shift is a Network of Centres of Excellence (NCE) with an initial investment of $17.9 million over five years from the Government of Canada’s Research Tri-Council.