The Canadian Model for Housing the Homeless: Case Studies from Three Canadian Cities
Wael W. Al-Azhari

The government of Canada, in cooperation with the provinces, the housing industry, and public interest groups, is focusing on the national and international plight of the homeless. Through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Canada is supporting many and diverse projects alleviating the most pressing shelter needs of the homeless in more than forty countries in the world (Statistics Canada, 1990). Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) and Canada's National Housing Agency, on the other hand, are supporting a wide range of initiatives to identify and research the best means of improving the living conditions of the homeless in Canada (McLaughlin, 1987). The analysis of homelessness in Canada indicates that while it is a pervasive phenomenon, particularly visible in the major metropolitan cities, it is subject public policy resolution and substantive improvement through public and private resources (Oberlander, 1987). The practical solutions for such a problem should focussing on the needs of the homeless that include shelter as well as social and economic support services. This will provide the basis for effective return and participation of individuals and families in the Canadian society who have been made homeless by economic, health, and social circumstances. This study is an analytical survey on the nature and the causes of homelessness in Canada, and on selected successful solutions and projects in three cities, which are: Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto. The examples that will be present are successful innovative solutions of a cooperation process and joint enterprise of public and private initiatives.

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