At the Intersection of Invisibilities: Canadian Women, Homelessness and Health Outside the 'Big City'

This article explores the concept of 'invisibility' in relation to women, homelessness & health in Ontario, Canada. While popular images of homelessness continue to focus on older men with mental illness &/or addictions issues, the proportion of women without secure, affordable shelter continues to rise. The stereotypes of homelessness also have a spatial component, with the incorrect assumption that housing affordability crises are concentrated in the centres of large cities. There is a third aspect to 'invisibility': the tendency of the traditional medical model of health care to ignore the interrelated physical & emotional impacts of stress among women who make up the majority of the 'hidden homeless'. While an increasing number of women are facing loss of their accommodation in suburban, small city & rural settings, this social policy issue remains largely invisible outside the realm of local services struggling to meet women's needs. Interviews with women facing homelessness in Haliburton, Kingston & Oshawa, a rural area, small town & outer suburb, illustrate both experiences of invisibility & possibilities of integrated health services combating this personal & societal invisibility. References. Adapted from the source document.

Publication Date: 
Journal Name: 
Gender, place and culture