Child and Family Homelessness: Building a comprehensive framework to address child and family homelessness in Canada: Phase I, an environmental scan

This report highlights many innovative and high quality initiatives across Canada and internationally that are working to improve the lives of families and children so that they may live free from poverty and homelessness. However, the report also illustrates that, for the most part, these initiatives operate in an independent and piecemeal fashion, just like the blocks in the broken Jenga tower. In addition, the majority of these initiatives operate exclusively within the poverty and homelessness sector, despite the fact that social problems often result from the failure of, and structural barriers within many different sectors. Moreover, most service organizations have limited funds, are overburdened, and have neither the capacity to address the root causes of homelessness, nor the qualifications necessary to respond to the complex depth, breadth and continuum of needs of the families seeking their services. If we wish to address family homelessness – effectively and for the long-term – we must bring all the government and system ‘pieces’ together to form a cohesive, coordinated and accessible response. This is the only way we will succeed in building a society that supports families when they need it most, and ensures that children thrive into healthy, successful adults.

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