Edmonton Social Planning Council - Research Reviews & Updates

The ESPC provides research reviews and updates on a range of social issues

 

Report by Asia Czapska et al, Justice for Girls, May 2008.
Reviewed in October 2008 Research Update

This report is based on interviews with young women who were homeless or had been homeless as teens, interviews with activists who had worked with homeless girls, and visits to youth and women's housing organizations across the country. Justice for Girls is a Vancouver based organization founded on a vision of social justice and equality for teenage girls, which operates with the belief that young women how live and have lived in poverty must define the solutions to girl homelessness.

The report describes the unique situation of teenage girl homelessness and poverty, discusses the inequalities that lead to girl homelessness, and accounts some of the consequences experienced by young women that are homeless, including male violence and exploitation, addiction, disease and death, difficulties accessing education, criminalization, and life in Vancouver‘s Downtown Eastside. The report then outlines the ways in which various levels of government have failed young women in preventing or adequately addressing the conditions which lead to teenage girl homelessness, and the crisis that now exists.

A rights based approach based on feminist principles is outlined in this reports strategy to address girl homelessness. The strategy includes measures to prevent homelessness, government actions, access to education, community and feminist actions, actions at the international level, and includes recommendations for working with girls who have been sexually exploited and for developing a feminist housing strategy within communities.

This is a powerful report that begins and ends with the voices of girls who have experienced poverty and homelessness. It is a valuable resource for organizations working with youth, women, and girls in poverty.