Take Action to End LGBTQ2+ Homelessness

At least two people lose their lives every week due to homelessness, with the number of unreported deaths as a result of living on the street thought to be much higher. On any given night, there are 35,000 people who find themselves without a place to sleep in Canada (23% of that are homeless LGBTQ2+ persons). It’s hard to wrap your head around, but Canada is the only G8 country without a national housing strategy. That fact is doubly disconcerting given that the right to housing is considered a fundamental human right according the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a document heralded by Canada as an important and necessary emblem of progressiveness.

This is why Member of Parliament Sheri Benson of the NDP is proposing M-147, the motion whose aim it is defeat homelessness, in the House of Commons.

 

What is M-147?

Each year, 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness. While there may be a number of nuanced reasons for their individual predicaments, the result is the same: a lack of safety and comfort in a home they can call their own. Living through our brutally cold Canadian winter nights on the street is a reality no one should have to face, and the NDP is hoping to bring that reality to an end so there won’t be anymore people who lose their lives due to homelessness like the 70 people who have this year in Toronto alone.  

Why is the CCGSD supporting M-147? And why you should too!

Nearly a quarter of homeless persons identify as LGBTQ2+. This is an important queer and trans issue, especially for queer youth who often feel the shelter system is not a safe space for them. The risks of violence and intimidation toward queer youth are exceptionally high. We need to have a strategy that understands the systemic challenges queer and trans folks face, and remove the barriers to them finding housing.

This is an opportunity of historic proportions to devise a national housing plan and create lasting solutions to our homelessness crisis. Through the shared and continued efforts of community partners, Indigenous peoples, national housing and homelessness organizations, experts, and our at the federal, provincial, and municipal governments we will be able to eliminate homelessness for good.

 

What you can do to help

  1. Add your name online to support the motion. Sheri Benson’s website has organized a campaign that you can support! Simply fill out the information so that your name can be added to the list of Canadians who want to see effective change where homelessness is concerned. 
  2. You can share your own personal story of homelessness if you have one. There are many ways to get involved and spread the word about this important motion. LGBTQ2S youth are overrepresented in homelessness statistics, and their voices urgently need to be heard. Young people are often without the financial capacity to pay for housing, but the creation of a national Portable Housing Benefit would be designed to help low-income people gain access to rental housing and could be tailored to include protective measures for LGBTQ2S youth. Email at info@ccgsd-ccdgs.org to share your story with us. 
  3. Share the campaign. Use the hashtag #M147 on social media to help spread the word and educate others on homelessness in Canada. Let them know that there is a direct and inarguable link between improved community functioning, quality of life, and improved mental health when there is reduced homelessness. And share this link!

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