As any one of us who has seen a person without housing suffering on sweltering summer sidewalks can see, climate change has profound implications for homeless populations worldwide. Extreme temperatures, rising sea levels, and extreme weather events destroy homes and livelihoods, creating homelessness and climate-driven migration.
Major weather events also hit homeless populations the hardest — both due to a lack of adequate shelter and already compromised physical and mental health. The result is illness, injury, and death with the greatest impacts felt by those most marginalized — including girls, women, and Indigenous populations.
People experiencing homelessness and inadequate housing in Toronto are bearing the brunt of these impacts locally, as our summers become more sweltering. They join populations suffering worldwide, be it people fleeing from fires in Australia, surviving floods in Kenya, or with culture and livelihoods threatened in the Arctic.