On February 15th a group of grade 9 students at Island Pacific School braved the cold sleeping outside overnight – the culmination of their work participating in Sleep Out: Student Edition. Island Pacific School students were able to raise $4,635 for Covenant House Vancouver.
The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness & Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness recently released The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016, the third report of this kind produced by the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.
In this year’s State of Homelessness report, they address the central question:
"Can we prevent and end homelessness in Canada?"
Homelessness Action Week is an annual event which focuses on bringing public awareness and understanding to the issue of homelessness in the Greater Vancouver region.
Homelessness Action Week is an opportunity to get involved in activities in your community. Through spreading the word about homelessness action through education, advocacy, and social media activity, the hope is to raise awareness of this very important subject which affects all our communities.
"Researchers examined how young people who are homeless conceptualize and interact with challenging circumstances, adopting a human agency focus rooted in the constructionist model of resilience. Thirty-five young people who were homeless in Ottawa participated in in-depth interviews and/or focus groups. Participants reflected upon their strategic decision-making and described how they solved problems in the midst of adversity, planned for the future, consciously altered their identities, and balanced the costs of engaging in certain behaviours.
This is one of the most common questions we get asked at Covenant House Vancouver. There are many reasons why a young person may end up on the street but most of the time a young person flees to street believing it will be safer then where they currently are living. The list of hardships bestowed upon our youth read almost like a check-list of reasons why young people end up on the streets:
"Youth homelessness is a pressing issue worldwide that requires urgent attention. To help address the issue, a collaborative group of organizations from Canada and Europe have developed Youth Rights! Right Now! Ending Youth Homelessness: A Human Rights Guide for grounding strategies to end youth homelessness in international human rights law. The guide, based on research, consultations, input from youth and the expertise of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, Ms.
The Faces of Homelessness was a student created initiative that begun in April, 2016 and was created by the Interact & YCI Homelessness Committee. The goal of the project is to complete a series of interviews that help shed a more accurate and uplifting perspective of people who either live with or work with people who are facing the challenge of homelessness. The students visit Covenant House last month with their teacher and interviewed Kat an Outreach Youth Worker.
When we think of homeless people and weather we generally worry about it being too cold not too hot but summer weather can have a negative impact on the homeless as well. Homeless people often lack places to get fresh water and areas to stay cool. At Covenant House Vancouver we prepare for the heat and make sure our youth that are living outside have proper supplies. We provide water bottles and water, sunscreen, cool clothing and remind them to take it easy and seek shade when it is hot.
If you want to help homeless youth this summer here are a few things we need: