Community Matters: September 2022

September 6, 2022

Note: This is excerpted from the September 2022 edition of our Community Matters publication. 

Welcome to the third issue of our new quarterly publication, Community Matters.

Community Matters aims to inform the community about social issues that impact citizens and connect the dots between social issues, evidence, and policy. We aim to use this space to give a voice to local agencies, ESPC volunteer writers, and staff members alike.

Each edition will spotlight a specific social issue and demonstrate the intersectional nature and impact on equality. Our goal is to use evidence as we continue to inform on the issues affecting individuals and families.

For our Fall 2022 issue, we are focusing on housing, shelters, and the state of houselessness in Edmonton.

Housing is recognized as an international human right. Nevertheless, we have fallen quite short in fulfilling these rights when it comes to providing adequate, affordable, and suitable housing. Houselessness has been greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, many important gains that have been achieved in reducing the number of people who are unhoused prior to 2020 were erased within the span of two years. While pandemic supports such as the Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) prevented many people from losing their housing, the ending of these supports places those living in financial uncertainty at risk.

Those who live without housing or are facing some level of housing insecurity are disproportionately members of marginalized groups. This issue strives to capture some of the housing challenges faced by these marginalized peoples as well as some of the agencies striving to support them. We were pleased to have a number of social agencies that incorporate housing and shelter needs as part of their services, join this edition including Old Strathcona Youth Society, Bissell Centre, Terra Centre, and the Edmonton Pride Senior Group Society.

Addressing housing needs is crucial towards building a just and inclusive society. We hope this issue will help build more awareness around the diverse and intersectional housing needs of marginalized populations and work towards solutions that provide housing for all.

– Susan Morrissey, Executive Director

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