This week, in partnership with the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, the Women’s National Housing & Homelessness Network launched and we couldn't be more excited to share what they do with you.
The Women’s National Housing and Homelessness Network (WNHHN) is a collective of diverse women, including those with lived expertise, who are working to eliminate homelessness and housing insecurity for women, girls, and gender-diverse peoples across Canada.
Homelessness is not gender neutral. Women, girls, and gender diverse people experience homelessness and housing need in distinct ways. In order to create change, we need improved knowledge, data, and expertise from women who have lived it.
Available research underestimates the scale of women’s homelessness in Canada. Because women are more likely to experience hidden homelessness, they are less likely to appear in shelters, drop ins, public spaces, or social services. This means that women are undercounted in data, research, and PiT (Point In Time) Counts.
The causes and conditions of homelessness are unique for women, girls, and gender diverse peoples. Studies from around the world show that:
1. Intimate partner and/or family violence is a key pathway into homelessness for women and girls
2. Women and girls are more likely to experience ‘hidden homelessness’, exhausting all informal supports and resources before seeking formal services
3. Women and girls’ face unique and profound forms of violence once they enter homelessness, including much higher rates of involvement in human trafficking
4. Women’s experiences of homelessness, and use of services and supports, is critically impacted by whether they have dependent children
5. Poverty and exclusion are key drivers of homelessness for women and girls.
Women’s homelessness is an urgent crisis in Canada, requiring immediate action. Housing insecurity and homelessness for women is largely invisible and women remain profoundly underserved across many systems and services. Women, especially those who are multiply marginalized, face systemic barriers to accessing safe, affordable, and adequate housing.
We are hopeful that this group will help to bring light to these issues and help guide the system to help as many individuals and families as possible with their needs in mind.
To learn more about this initiative and homelessness for woman and gender diverse people, please visit the Woman's National Housing & Homelessness Network website: http://womenshomelessness.ca/ and follow them on all social platforms.