This year’s National Housing Day (November 22) is more important than ever as COVID-19 has both exacerbated the toll on people experiencing homelessness and further exposed the gaps in Canada’s housing system. Here are three things you can do right now to help make more housing a reality, and end homelessness once and for all.
Now, more than ever before, housing saves lives. COVID-19 has greatly exposed the risk people experiencing homelessness face in a pandemic, but it’s shown we can move quickly if we’re housing-focused in our efforts to shelter people. In this time of uncertainty, what we do know is we can’t return to normal. Normal was 235,000 people across Canada experiencing homelessness and at risk of losing their lives for no other reason than a lack of housing. This National Housing Day is an opportunity to redouble our efforts and recommit to ending homelessness, once and for all.
We at the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, want to recognize the incredible efforts made by frontline workers in the homelessness sector. Frontline staff moved quickly in March to adapt their systems and meet the emergency head on, avoiding what could have been a catastrophic loss of life. We’re also grateful for their continued efforts as we still navigate uncertainty during the second wave.
This National Housing Day, solutions to the homelessness crisis are paramount.
That’s why we’ve outlined three easy—but very meaningful—actions you can take this National Housing Day. Ending homelessness, once and for all, requires a collaborative and ongoing effort.
Here are three actions you can take right now to help end homelessness, once and for all:
1. Take 30 seconds to help make the government’s promise to end chronic homelessness a reality. In the Speech from the Throne, the federal government historically committed to ending chronic homelessness—but we need to ensure they follow through on the necessary plans and funding to make it a reality. Support the Recovery for All Campaign’s 6-point plan by telling Prime Minister Trudeau and other federal leaders to implement it in their plans to end chronic homelessness. DO IT HERE.
2. SIGN THE LETTER: Tell your MP to implement a distinct urban, rural, and Northern Indigenous housing strategy. We need a distinct urban, rural, and Northern Indigenous housing strategy that was missing from the National Housing Strategy announced in 2017. More than 80% of Indigenous Peoples across Canada live in communities that are not currently serviced by the distinctions-based strategies that currently exist for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. Stand with the CHRA Indigenous Housing Caucus by sending your letter. DO IT HERE.
3. OPEN LETTER: Lived experience voices matter. Are you a person with lived or living experiencing of homelessness? The newly formed Canadian Lived Experience Leadership Network has endorsed the Recovery for All campaign and is now calling on the federal government to support the 6-Point Plan and ensure lived and living experience voices are involved in ending chronic homelessness in Canada. DO IT HERE.
Beyond National Housing Day
If you’re looking for more opportunities to get involved beyond National Housing Day, join our networks below as they focus on important issues on homelessness.
The Canadian Lived Experience Leadership Network (CLELN) is a collective of diverse people with lived experience of homelessness and expertise in grassroots organizing, advocacy, mentorship and peer support. CLELN works to ensure that the voices of people with lived experience are in the forefront of all matters regarding homelessness—and to eliminate homelessness and housing insecurity through research, policy, advocacy, training, and collaboration. Learn more.
The National Right to Housing Network is dedicated to the progressive realization of the right to housing in Canada, and its meaningful implementation. NRHN believes that the key to solving the housing crisis in Canada is to recognize it as a human rights crisis, give a meaningful voice to rights holders, engage with multiple stakeholders, identify and address systemic problems, and develop practical solutions. Learn more or become a member.
The Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network is a collective of diverse women, including those with lived expertise, who are working to eliminate homelessness and housing insecurity for women, girls, and gender-diverse peoples across Canada. Learn more.
The National Alliance to End Rural and Remote Homelessness is a network of individuals and organizations focused on building and elevating a collective voice across Canada to advocate for the importance of preventing, reducing and ending homelessness in Rural and Remote communities. Learn more.