Right now, Halifax's homeless need our help more than ever before. While life as we know it has changed drastically, the fight continues for our community’s most vulnerable and the frontline workers that serve them.
Through the COVID-19 pandemic, our partner beneficiaries in Halifax have faced a number of increasing costs including additional staffing to help support the shelters high volume of guests, sanitation costs due to the increased scope and frequency of cleaning, personal protective equipment (PPE) to help keep their front-line staff protected and vulnerable residents safe and higher food supply costs as a result of more and more Canadians utilizing the system.
VETS Canada is a federally registered non-profit charity that has a network of 135,000 and hundreds of dedicated volunteers across the country, most of who are ex-military/RCMP. They work within the community to identify homeless veterans and quickly re-establish the bond of trust that exists between soldiers.
Working within the community, VETS Canada members attempt to move veterans from the streets or shelters into affordable housing (if available). They also connect the veterans with needed health care, help them access benefits and services from other organizations, and support them in finding suitable employment. The volunteers stick with these veterans every step of the way and do everything possible to help them re-establish themselves. To do this, VETS Canada has a national Board of Directors composed of volunteers and has outreach across the country.
Adsum has a long history of working with marginalized individuals and families who experience poverty and homelessness. At Adsum, they know first-hand how poverty, systemic discrimination, gender inequality, racism, disabilities, and trauma intersect and create layered barriers to securing stable housing. Adsum clients face diverse social and personal obstacles that include, but are not limited to; mental illnesses, lack of education, single-parenthood, addictions, and histories of trauma and violence. The folks they work with are managing complex life challenges, while negotiating systems that further contribute to their marginalization, such as criminal justice, community services, child protection, and immigration systems.
Adsum recognizes that the more marginalized an individual is, the more complex their experience of oppression will be, and the more likely they are to experience unstable housing and homelessness. They work from an anti-oppressive, feminist, trauma-informed framework. Adsum works predominantly with women butalso works with families, most of whom are women-led by single mothers. Women are more likely to be poor than men and are more vulnerable to homelessness and unstable housing. Women’s homelessness is directly related to women’s disproportionate experience of poverty, systemic discrimination, gender inequality, and violence.