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HE100 Study Guide - Final Guide: Substance Abuse, Unemployment Benefits, Sexually Transmitted Infection

Health Sciences
Course Code
Renee Mac Phee
Study Guide

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Sleeping in indoor or outdoor public places and/or emergency shelters
Living in illegal or temporary accommodations and/or relying on friends and acquaintances for
Living in housing that is considered unsafe, unhealthy, unaffordable, overcrowded or insecure
Homelessness has emerged from shrouded alleys to a position of prominence
o Not confined to poorest countries
Growth in both absolute homelessness and relative homelessness has occurred in urban and non
urban areas
United Nations (1987) established a distinction between absolute and relative homelessness
Absolute Homelessness
People living on the street and victims of disaster with no homes at all; complete absence of
Those with no fixed address including:
o People living on the streets
o Those using shelters
o In the case of young children, those provided with shelter in conditions bearing little
resemblance to a home, often referred to as welfare motels
Relative Homelessness
People housed in dwelling that fail to meet 5 basic standards set out by the United Nations:
o Adequately protect occupants from the elements
o Be provided with safe water and sanitation
o Provide for secure tenure and personal safety (locks on doors and windows)
o Lie within easy reach of employment, education and health care
o Be affordable
Canadian Distinctions
Chronic homelessness
o 20 - 40% of those using emergency shelters/hotels
o Socially marginal people (psychiatric conditions, substance abuse)
o Many repeat stays in shelters over the course of a person's life
Periodic homelessness/episodic
o Leave home as a result of a crisis: domestic violence/abuse
May or may not return home
o More frequent shelter use with episodes lasting from a few months to a year
Temporary homelessness/transitional
o Lose shelter because of fire or flood, hospitalization, unemployment, eviction or foreclosure
o Brief one-time stay at a shelter
Who is Homeless?
Characteristics of the "stereotypic" homeless person
o Single
o Alcoholic and/or drug using
o Male
o NOTE: policy and program response to homelessness reflects this out dated view
All ages, gender, sexual orientation, race or class
Different socio-economic, educational, ethnic and familial backgrounds
Diverse medical histories
Homeless Canadians include:
o Increasing numbers of women
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