Authored by: Jenna Drabble, Sadie McInnes

Grant: Partnering for Change: Community-Based Solutions for Aboriginal and Inner-City Poverty - 2012-2019
Category: Housing and Neighbourhood Revitalization

Excerpt:

This gender-based analysis looks at the intersectionalities of gender, race, class, sexual identity and other factors. This is important since a “gender-blind” approach—of looking at men and women’s experiences together—just scratches the surface of women’s experiences, causalities and what is required to end homelessness among women. There are many documented cases of such “gender-blind” approaches not working for women—from health conditions to drugs tested only on men—that leave women behind. Homelessness is no different. The gender differences are strong, as the two papers in this report will explain. The report was overseen by Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre, North End Women’s Centre, North Point Douglas Women’s Centre, West Central Women’s Resource Centre, End Homelessness and the Social Planning Council of Winnipeg (SPCW). We are grateful to the SPCW for disaggregating the 2015 Street Census data for this report, published for the first time in this volume. “Women and Homelessness: a review of the literature” by Sadie McInnes is a high-level overview of existing Canadian literature on the gendered aspects of homelessness. The “Finding Her Home” study adds to this body of knowledge.

As you will read in these two papers, women become or are homeless for a variety of factors central to this is poverty and lack of income and ways to earn decent money. Women who’ve experienced homelessness struggle with domestic violence and violence against women. The legacy of colonialism continues to impact Indigenous women, who are over 80 percent of women experiencing homelessness in Winnipeg according to the 2015 Street Count. The vulnerabilities that have led to the loss of so many mothers, sisters and daughters and led to the Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls are inter-related to the reality of homelessness for many women. The root causes that make women vulnerable are the same: the lack of economic options, inter-generational trauma and need for social supports.

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