Housing Stability Programs
Housing is a right, not a privilege.
We believe that housing is fundamental to quality of life and it is difficult to imagine people living without a ‘home’. However, this is a stark reality for some residents of Red Deer today. The word ‘home’ means not only a person’s physical shelter but also the extent to which they enjoy social and economic well-being. We understand that there are multiple factors that have contributed to the increase in homelessness over the past few decades. They include the lack of affordable housing, deinstitutionalization and increased poverty. Other factors are substance abuse, addiction, and the decline of casual labor. (Everyone’s Home – Red Deer’s Vision and Framework on Ending Homelessness by 2008-2018).
For women in particular, domestic violence is a leading cause of homelessness.
Homelessness can be caused by:
- lack of affordable housing
- poor physical or mental health
- drug and alcohol abuse
- family and relationship breakdown
- domestic violence
- physical and/or sexual abuse.
All these factors can cause a person to become homeless. They can also be one of the reasons why a person remains homeless. For example, drug and alcohol abuse can be both a cause and a result of
- domestic violence
- mental illness or addictions
- family instability
According to “The State of Homelessness in Canada (2013),” a recent study by The Homeless Hub and the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, homelessness is a societal problem. “The problem of homelessness and housing exclusion refers to the failure of society to ensure that adequate systems, funding and support are in place so that all people… have access to housing.” For those battling homelessness, it is nearly impossible to get a job, to achieve treatment for mental health, or to battle against substance abuse and addictions issues. Solving the affordable-housing-crisis is the first and most necessary step towards battling homelessness, mental health and addictions.
Homelessness influences every facet of a child’s life — from conception to young adulthood. The experience of homelessness inhibits the physical, emotional, cognitive, social, and behavioral development of children.