Policy-related Homelessness Discourses in Canada: Implications for Nursing Research, Practice, and Advocacy

Despite Canada’s commitment to several international human rights instruments recognizing the right to housing, homelessness remains widespread nationwide. Informed by critical political economy theory and critical discourse studies, we examined relevant literature focusing on homelessness policy-related documents in the Canadian context. The findings demonstrate interrelated homelessness policy discourses: 1) emergency shelters, 2) housing first, 3) social determinants of health, 4) human rights, and 5) political economy approach. We conclude that a critical political economy approach offers the most helpful way of understanding and responding to the homelessness crisis in Canada. Homelessness is a socioeconomic and political problem requiring nurses and health professionals to take sociopolitical actions. As nurses and health justice advocates, we stand in solidarity with labour movements to protect public health. This study can be adopted in local, national, and global settings.

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Critical Nursing for Health Equity