Over 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness every year. Thousands more live in precarious housing. Research shows that the most vulnerable people can maintain housing with the appropriate supports – which is the basis of the Housing First approach central to new housing policies across the country.

However, Canada is facing an affordable housing crisis. How can cities with a lack of available housing implement Housing First? This two-part show evaluates policies addressing homelessness, affordable housing and how Housing First strategies can work in Canadian cities.

Guests

Jamie Rogers  is the Manager of the Homeless and Housing Development Department with the Medicine Hat Community Housing Society. She is also a member of the Alberta interagency Council on Homelessness. Ms. Rogers is responsible for leading the implementation of Medicine Hat’s five year strategic plan to end homelessness, and Alberta’s 10 year strategic vision to ending homelessness.

James Hughes is currently a senior fellow at the McConnell Foundation, and was also the president of the Graham Boeckh (BECK) Foundation, a leading private philanthropic organization in the mental health sector. He was formerly New Brunswick’s Deputy Minister of Social Development, and was the Director General of the Old Brewery Mission, Quebec’s largest center serving homeless men and women. Mr. Hughes’ wealth of experience has provided him with a first hand look at homelessness, both at the front line and through the policy perspective.

Stephen Gaetz is a Professor in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at York University. He also runs the Homeless Hub, a web based platform featuring cross-disciplinary research on homelessness. Professor Geatz has published in numerous journals and has edited two volumes on homelessness in Canada. Prior to his time at York, Mr. Gaetz worked in the Community Health Sector at Shout Clinic, a health clinic for street youth in Toronto, and the Queen West Community Health Center in Toronto. He brings his diverse knowledge on homelessness and housing to us talk with us today.

Alyssa Wali , Host
Ainslee Beer, Show Producer
Janet Tsang , Chase Producer
Samira Basir & Luke Adams, Technical Producers
Nirmalan Vijeyakumar, Executive Producer

Music Credits
Clothes Off by Ria Mae
Dukes by Repartee

Photo Credit
Flickr/CC BY-NC-ND 2.0