» Version française | Homepage

landlords


This post is the latest in a series of articles from guest bloggers. Each week experts and activists in fields of homelessness and mental health explore some of the issues raised by a Here At Home film.

From NFB interactive, Here At Home is a cutting-edge documentary experience that offers a look inside At Home, a radical experiment to end chronic homelessness. Led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the experiment is the largest of its kind in the world. The theory it’s testing: there’s a way to end homelessness for people with mental illness and it starts with giving them homes.

For today’s post we matched the Montreal film, A New Lease,” with Stephen Gaetz, director of the Canadian Homelessness Research Network and the Homeless Hub. These projects are dedicated to mobilizing homelessness research so that it has a greater impact on policy, planning and service provision, thereby contributing to solutions to end homelessness in Canada. Dr. Gaetz is also Associate Dean, Research and Professional Development in the Faculty of Education, York University, Toronto.

A friend of mine, who teaches at York University, recently lamented the fact that “The students in my class, they don’t read newspapers any more”.   Well, I still like to read newspapers myself, but that’s not the only way I like to get information.  I follow twitter, I’m on Facebook, I use Youtube for everything from watching music videos, to seeing web-based comedy, to figuring out how to do a home repair. People consume information and, perhaps more importantly, learn new things in all kinds of ways, many of them mediated through technology.

You see, the world has changed, and as a researcher and an educator focused on the issue of homelessness, I am very interested in figuring out how to help the public – as well as decision-makers in government and the community – understand that in responding to homelessness, we can do things differently, and that we must. Through our work at the Homeless Hub, we recognize that it just isn’t enough to just push out academic papers that nobody wants to read; that if we really want people to engage research, we need to think differently about how people might want to consume information, and do things differently.
(more…)

Facebook Twitter Email
Comments 0


This post is the latest in a series of articles from guest bloggers. Each week experts and activists in fields of homelessness and mental health explore some of the issues raised by a Here At Home film.

From NFB interactive, Here At Home is a cutting-edge documentary experience that offers a look inside At Home, a radical experiment to end chronic homelessness. Led by the Mental Health Commission of Canada, the experiment is the largest of its kind in the world. The theory it’s testing: there’s a way to end homelessness for people with mental illness and it starts with giving them homes.

For today’s post we matched the Winnipeg film, “The Wound Inside,” with Julia Christensen, Research Fellow with the Institute for Circumpolar Health Research in Yellowknife and SSHRC Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Geography at the University of British Columbia. Born and raised in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, she explores colonial continuities in the Canadian North and their role in shaping northern homelessness.

The first time I watched “The Wound Inside” by Darryl Nepinak, I was struck at the outset when the film’s protagonist, Lukas, reflects on coming back to Winnipeg, only to be confronted by deep-seated racism he was perhaps naïve to in his younger years. I can relate to the discomfort and disappointment of realizing, for the first time, that a beloved place is flawed and not immune to the kinds of prejudice and exclusion that are easy to say exist somewhere else but not here. Growing up in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, I always felt a strong sense of community, and a kind of together-ness that stitched tight seams between the Indigenous and non-Indigenous inhabitants of the city. But more recently, when I moved back to my hometown, I saw the city with new eyes and understood for the first time that, like Winnipeg, the deep wound of colonialism persists unhealed.

(more…)

Facebook Twitter Email
Comments 0


This post is the fourth in a series of articles from guest bloggers. Each week experts and activists in fields of homelessness and mental health explore some of the issues raised by a Here At Home film.

For today’s post we matched the Montreal film, “Mother to 400” with Victor Willis, the Executive Director of PARC (the Parkdale Activity – Recreation Centre), a drop-in centre in the west end of Toronto that works on individual issues of poverty, mental health, addictions, homelessness and food security. Among his many responsibilities, Willis is Co-Chair of the St. Joseph’s Health Centre mental health & addiction population panel and Chair of the St. Joseph’s Health Centre  Strategic Population panel.

The short film “A Mother to 400” opens with a view of a highway and the sounds of vehicle traffic situating the apartment in a location that may not be the first choice for someone with financial mobility and yet as we hear from Valerie Couture the venerable (but remarkably youthful) “Mother” it becomes clear that her apartments are well maintained – not always a hallmark for housing for men and women who have spent significant time on the street.
(more…)

Facebook Twitter Email
Comments 0

This post kicks off a series of articles from guest bloggers. Each week experts and activists in fields of homelessness and mental health explore some of the issues raised by a Here At Home film. 

For today’s post we matched the Toronto film, “Landlords Like That” (above) with Michael Shapcott, Director of Affordable Housing and Social Innovation at the Wellesley Institute. Among his many duties and activities, Michael has worked with the At Home project as an unpaid research and policy consultant. He is recognized as one of Canada’s leading community-based housing and homelessness experts.

Housing is a fundamental human right… and everyone deserves a good place to call home. A lofty goal, especially as Canada’s ownership and private rental housing markets are increasingly out-of-reach for low, moderate and even middle-income people. Housing challenges are especially acute for people struggling with chronic homelessness, physical and mental health issues, addictions, and a history of institutionalization in jails or psychiatric facilities.

Housing is one of the most important determinants of personal health and there is plenty of research to demonstrate the many benefits of ‘housing first’ as an effective response for those with deep and persistent housing needs. Yet most landlords see themselves as business people (not human service providers). They are inclined to favour tenants who are ‘easy to manage’ – and quickly evict those who don’t. The At Home / Chez Soi project is the latest, and largest ‘housing first’ initiative in Canada. It builds on the lessons of earlier initiatives and provides appropriate support not only for tenants, but also for landlords. The NFB film embedded above underlines the critical importance of building and maintaining strong relationships with landlords as key to the success of ‘housing first’.

(more…)

Facebook Twitter Email
Comments 0