Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by business

Not only does work help financially but it empowers people to take control of their lives and rise above poverty

Poverty, homelessness must be tackled by businessHomelessness is increasingly a problem in cities big and small across North America. Yet as business leaders we tend think the issue isn’t our problem – unless, of course, we have a business affected by a homeless camp, squatters in our doorsteps or addicts in our alleyways. We can’t comprehend why people aren’t working like…

Growing number of seniors lack support of family, friends

Unbefriended,’ these isolated seniors require more help to safeguard their access to basic daily needs, including companionship, and improve their quality of life

Growing number of seniors lack support of family, friendsBy Stephanie A. Chamberlain and Carole A. Estabrooks University of Alberta What happens when a person grows older and can no longer make health and financial decisions for themselves – but also doesn’t have family or friends who can make those decisions on their behalf? Health and social services use a hard-hitting term to describe…

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustified

Money budgeted for an elevated greenway for walkers and bikers should go to housing the homeless or easing traffic congestion

Vancouver’s bike-walk bias is costly and unjustifiedVancouver is a great city. For people like me who use their feet for most of their transportation, it’s wonderful. But sometimes city decision-makers go overboard. For recreation and exercise, there’s the 28-km seawall, part of which circles Stanley Park. It’s been voted the best place to run in Canada. There’s also the nine-km Arbutus…

Reaching out, leaning in to improve mental health

Connie Jakab of Movement with a Message talks about addressing mental wellness concerns at home and in the workplace

Reaching out, leaning in to improve mental healthConnie Jakab is a mental health speaker and owner of Movement with a Message. Tell me what Movement with a Message is all about? Jakab: Movement With A Message is about building community, courage and compassion in our society. We do this through school workshops, mental health presentations with our National Hope Talks division (nationalhopetalks.com),…

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptom

We need to address contributing factors to homelessness, including mental illness, addictions and poverty

Tent cities aren’t the problem, just a symptomTonight, an increasing number of Canadians face the prospect of sleeping in a tent – not to welcome the summer camping season but as a last resort. Unlike regulated campgrounds, tent cities are without electricity, water and often bathrooms. These makeshift encampments appear to be on the rise with Winnipeg and Nanaimo, B.C., being two…

King-for-a-day solutions to homelessness don’t work

If we’re serious about ending homelessness, we need to institute long-term solutions across all levels of government

King-for-a-day solutions to homelessness don’t workThree years ago, I set out for clinic on the kind of morning like those we’ve been having in Toronto lately, where the hair in your nostrils freezes with each breath. I had walked about two intersections before I realized my fingers were stiff from cold – of course, I had forgotten my gloves. So…

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginning

The National Housing Strategy’s $40-billion investment is good news for Canada. But the devil is in the details

The work to end poverty and homelessness is just beginningAt last, Canada stands with other developed nations with its new National Housing Strategy (NHS). But while this historic step forward by the federal government represents what many activists have sought for decades, is it time to rejoice? Will the staggering $40 billion promised over 10 years amend nearly a quarter of a century of federal…

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessness

Homelessness costs Canadians big money without addressing the causes

Housing First can curb the high cost of homelessnessFor most of his life, Murray Barr was an ordinary American. Everything changed abruptly when his story of personal tragedy and period of homelessness created a media frenzy. Malcom Gladwell, in his article Million Dollar Murray, used Murray as an example of how homelessness was costing taxpayers in Reno, Nevada, around $1 million despite Murray not…

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine Hat

By eliminating homelessness, the Alberta city has reduced the crime rate, the workload on first responders, hospital emergency visits and pressure on the courts

The best kind of social medicine in Medicine HatFormer American president Jimmy Carter said, “The measure of a society is found in how they treat their weakest and most helpless citizens.” Serving those in need may seem simply like the charitable thing to do. When we look a bit deeper, however, we see that many social programs help the entire population. Even on a…