CRHESI members, Dr. Abe Oudshoorn and Jule Ryan spoke to Innovation Works co-tenants during a Brown Bag lunch talk this month on Solutions to Homelessness in London.
Abe’s past clinical work as a community nurse provided the base for his research agenda and desire to work at a higher level, aiming to transform systems to end homelessness in London, Canada and beyond.
Historical context on homelessness:
- Pre WWII, housing instability meant the use of informal dwellings, people built their own shelters, such as shacks (around Carling Heights for example).
- Post WWII, around 1965, public, social housing was introduced.
- Government built and funded the number of units needed to meet the need at that time. These structures built in 1970’s are the same structures still in use in London today.
- Rent was geared to income (30%).
- 1980’s: Housing construction stopped in Canada–Global financial crisis + conservative governments = stop spending
- Abe noted that in the 2006-2015 era, PM Harper flipped this austerity practice and instead encouraged gov spending to stimulate the economy
- Late 1980’s, the first concerns were noted in the House of Parliament about homeless constituents
- 1990’s: Canada builds shelters (such as Salvation Army, Mission Services, domestic violence shelters)
- Abe says: It’s good that we care! But, systemically not good, as shelter living has many deleterious effects and if it is the default solution, people are unwell, unhealthy
- 2004: Centre of Hope is built, which increased beds but they are filled and the need keeps increasing.
- 2008-2016: We introduce the Housing First model: ‘rehouse’ people with supports
- 2016: With a 4.5 % vacancy rate and more new building, 200 people are rehoused and Centre of Hope transitions some space to rental rooms for substance use recovery.
- 2018: We hit a brick wall. The vacancy rate in London dives and capacity for supporting homeless people is maxed out. Add in a depressed housing market in London
- 2021: London is one of the fastest growing communities in Canada which means high competition in the housing market.
There are many, too many stories and examples of people losing their housing due to bad faith evictions.
Photo by Masaaki Komori on Unsplash
To honour the lives of the Afzaal family: Yumna Afzaal, 15, Madiha Salman, 44, Talat Afzaal, 74, and Salman Afzaal, 46, there are community events running from June 3-8 in London. CRHESI members, please join the community to support and stand against Islamaphobia in all forms.
“Youth Coalition Combatting Islamophobia is hosting a march on June 5 from Oakridge Secondary School to the London Muslim Mosque, and a vigil on June 6.
The London District Catholic School Board and the Thames Valley District School Board are hosting a walk for students, and the Islamic Social Services Association King’s College and the Muslim Resources Centre for Social Support and Integration are hosting two workshops focused on anti-Islamophobia, on June 7 and 8.
There will also be an art gallery and prayer services, hosted by the London Muslim Mosque.” -CBC reporter James Chaarani
In July 2021, Western University and friends and family of Madiha established the Madiha Salman Memorial Scholarship in Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The scholarship is awarded to a full-time female graduate student enrolled in a Doctoral (PhD) or Masters (MESc) program within the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. Preference will be given to a student whose research is focused on environmental engineering, and who is able to demonstrate their advocacy towards the inclusion and belonging of all religions and races.
Today, at noon with the musical backdrop of London’s Frank Ridsdale and Edgar and Joe’s pop-up commUNITY Kitchen, Pillar’s Board announced new “Decent Work” measures at Pillar. Pillar Nonprofit Network is a long-standing organization that strengthens community impact in London and area. One of its many innovative programs is Innovation Works, a coworking space and collaboration hub located downtown, where CRHESI’s staff are located.
CRHESI wishes to congratulate Mojdeh Cox on her promotion to CEO of Pillar after one year in her position as ED.
The board states they are taking radical accountability, looking at HR practices and taking action. The promotion of Mojdeh demonstrates the committment to elevate women in leadership, in the largely female impact sector, and particularly, racialized women.
As well, Pillar directors will now be VPs and new pay principles are implemented:
*Wage level transparency on all postings and for all positions.
*1:3 salary ratio threshold, from bottom to top earner.
*All cooperative learning and students will be paid.
*Pillar is a Living Wage employer for all staff.
“The future of work is flexible and it is decent” Mojdeh Cox
Title: Trajectories of Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Chronic Pain Among Women Who Have Separated From an Abusive Partner: A Longitudinal Analysis
Citation: Ford-Gilboe, M., Varcoe, C., Wuest, J., Campbell, J., Pajot, M., Heslop, L., & Perrin, N. (2022). Trajectories of Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress, and Chronic Pain Among Women Who Have Separated From an Abusive Partner: A Longitudinal Analysis. Journal of Interpersonal Violence. https://doi.org/10.1177/08862605221090595