Homelessness is Only One Piece of My Puzzle: Implications for Policy and Practice

Have you ever experienced homelessness? Would you like to create change by sharing some of your story? Would you like to tell people who make decisions, people who provide services to you and others who have experienced homelessness about what is and is not working?

These questions were posed to people with lived experiences of homelessness. Their responses are showcased in this book and provide a small window into what it means to be homeless.

The authors’ stories reveal rigid and demeaning stereotypes about those who experience homelessness, of Aboriginal Peoples, of women, of those with disabilities and of racialized peoples. Not only do these harmful preconceptions inform policy and practice responses, they can also become internalized. But the stories told in this volume also reveal that other labels and categories—of ‘mother’ or ‘father,’ for example—can be affirming, and possess potentially powerful healing properties. 

Unsurprisingly, there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution to homelessness. However, personal stories offer key elements of a framework in which individualized pathways out of homelessness can be crafted. The contributors to this book have outlined frameworks for five areas of policy and practical intervention. These frameworks can help us support those who are homeless and work towards preventing and ultimately ending homelessness.


The "Homelessness Is Only One Piece Of My Puzzle: Implications for Policy and Practice" is also available as a paperbook book via the York University bookstore.

Cost: $15 + s/h. See shipping charges here.

Purchase through: York University Bookstore

The Inclusion Working Group, Canadian Observatory on Homelessness
Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press