Happy Pride and Indigenous History Month!
We here at Find are so excited to kick off another June with some exciting news!
In May, Find was able to furnish a total of 130 homes for folks moving out of homelessness through Housing First while helping 198 people (134 adults and 64 children) have a safe, comfortable place to stay.
This month is always very special to Find because we know that youth and adults who identify as LGBTQ2S+ and Indigenous face housing insecurities regularly for a myriad of reasons including rejection and discrimination. We are proud of the work being done across the housing and homelessness sector in regards to breaking down barriers for Indigenous and LGBTQ2S+ people who are experiencing homelessness, but there is still more that needs to be done to support these populations.
Studies show that the LGBTQ2S+ community are more likely to be low income than their non-LGBTQ2S+ counterparts (Badgett, Durso, & Schneebaum, 2013) and that LGBTQ2S+ youth are over-represented in poverty statistics, with between 25 and 40 per cent of homeless youth identifying as LGBTQ2S+.
If you would like to learn more, the Homeless Hub offers some great resources on the topic of LGBTQ2S+ and housing which can be found here.
It has also been noted that urban Indigenous Peoples experience homelessness at a disproportionate rate and make up a significant percentage of people experiencing homelessness in cities. Research shows that Indigenous homelessness in major urban areas ranges from 20-50% of the total homeless population. In Edmonton we know that 58% of participants in the Housing First program identify as Indigenous.
A lot of research has been done around Indigenous homelessness and a really great resource to access to learn more is the Indigenous Definition of Homelessness researched and compiled by Jesse Thistle which explores 12 dimensions to Indigenous homelessness. We recommend taking some time to read and learn through this document.
Find is proud to work alongside Homeward Trust and all the Housing First agencies across Edmonton who work tirelessly to breakdown housing barriers for LGBTQ2S+ and Indigenous community members and create a safe space in housing for all.
At Find we make space to honor history, to honor those who have been displaced from their homes for no other reason than being who they are and to honor the work being done to break the cycle of trauma and displacement for these individuals. We will continue to amplify the voices of those advocating for safe spaces, affordable housing and equality for all on our social media platforms and we implore you, our great supporters, to take some time to honor the history of these populations and learn how you can best support and advocate for change and a safe place for everyone.
Let's continue to take care of each other in Treaty 6, and remember: There's no place like home.
Pictured: Maddie, Retail Associate & Curtis E. Bear, Find Mascot
Dresser art: Wizard of Oz theme by Maria, Retail Associate