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