Open Collections

UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

Homelessness and the homeless in Canada : a geographic perspective Fallick, Arthur Laurence 1988

Your browser doesn't seem to have a PDF viewer, please download the PDF to view this item.

Item Metadata

Download

Media
831-UBC_1988_A1 F34.pdf [ 15.13MB ]
Metadata
JSON: 831-1.0097964.json
JSON-LD: 831-1.0097964-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): 831-1.0097964-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: 831-1.0097964-rdf.json
Turtle: 831-1.0097964-turtle.txt
N-Triples: 831-1.0097964-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: 831-1.0097964-source.json
Full Text
831-1.0097964-fulltext.txt
Citation
831-1.0097964.ris

Full Text

HOPELESSNESS AND THE HOPELESS IN CANADA: A GEOGRAPHIC PERSPECTIVE By ARTHUR LAURENCE FALLICK PI.A. (Hons), Dundee U n i v e r s i t y , 1977 PI.A., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1980 A THESIS SUBPIITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREPIENTS FOR THE DEGREE DF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of Geography) We accept t h i s t h e s i s as conforming t o the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUPIBIA October 1988 @ Arthur Laurence F a l l i c k , 1988 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department of The University of British Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 DE-6(3/81) ABSTRACT In 1981, the General Assembly o f the U n i t e d N a t i o n s d e s i g n a t e d 1987 as the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Y e a r o f S h e l t e r f o r t h e H o m e l e s s ( I Y S H ) , t o r a i s e the c o n s c i o u s n e s s o f the w o r l d t o the e s t i m a t e d 100 m i l l i o n p e o p l e who have no s h e l t e r , and t o the 1 b i l l i o n who l a c k a s e c u r e , permanent home which they can a f f o r d . T h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n c o n t r i b u t e s t o the g o a l s and o b j e c t i v e s o f the IYSH, and i n t r o d u c e s c o n c e p t u a l and p r a c t i c a l c o n s i d e r a t i o n s which are p e r t i n e n t t o a g e o g r a p h i c e x a m i n a t i o n o f homelessness i n C a n a d a . F i e l d o b s e r v a t i o n s from a c r o s s the c o u n t r y a r e i n t e g r a t e d w i t h a c r i t i c a l a p p r a i s a l o f t h e i n t e r n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e t o demonstrate t h a t the s p a t i a l d i s t r i b u t i o n and d i v e r s i t y o f t h e homeless are r e l a t e d t o p h y s i c a l s h e l t e r problems and t o a c o m b i n a t i o n o f i n d i v i d u a l , s o c i a l and economic p r e c i p i t a n t s which produce homelessness a t a v a r i e t y o f r e g i o n a l , community and household s c a l e s . Three broad c a t e g o r i e s among the homeless i n Canada a r e i d e n t i f i e d : t h o s e who are i n a d e q u a t e l y housed; t h o s e who are e c o n o m i c a l l y d i s e n f r a n c h i s e d , and tho s e who are s o c i a l l y m a r g i n a l i s e d and s e r v i c e - d e p e n d e n t . Homelessness i s shown to be l i n k e d t o a wide range o f human, s o c i a l and economic problems, f o r i n d i v i d u a l s and f a m i l i e s , f o r communities and f o r s o c i e t y as a whole. I t i s d e f i n e d as the absence o f a c o n t i n u i n g or permanent home ov e r which p e o p l e have p e r s o n a l c o n t r o l , and which p r o v i d e s the e s s e n t i a l needs o f s h e l t e r , p r i v a c y and s e c u r i t y a t an a f f o r d a b l e c o s t , t o g e t h e r w i t h ready a c c e s s t o s o c i a l , economic, h e a l t h and c u l t u r a l p u b l i c s e r v i c e s . In v a r i o u s r e g i o n s o f the c o u n t r y the problems h i s t o r i c a l l y have been c h r o n i c ; i n o t h e r s , they a r e s p a t i a l l y and t e m p o r a l l y e p i s o d i c . I t i s argued here t h a t t h e p r o b l e m c o n s t i t u t e s a l e g i t i m a t e f o c u s o f academic i n q u i r y which i s o f s i g n i f i c a n c e and r e l e v a n c e t o geography. i i Case examples are presented to show: homelessness resu l ts from the rec ip roca l r e l a t i o n s between i n d i v i d u a l s and s o c i a l p rocesses ; these r e l a t i o n s are mani fes t i n i d e n t i f i a b l e s p a t i a l forms; these s p a t i a l arrangements in turn inf luence the composition of the homeless and the sources of homelessness. Geographic c o n s i d e r a t i o n s cont r ibute to an understanding of homelessness in Canada through an analysis of how indiv idual ac t ion , soc ia l processes and spat ia l re la t ions are l inked to the genesis and persistence of homelessness. By showing how cer ta in events and condit ions prec ip i ta te and exacerbate homeless-related problems, evidence i s presented that the problems in Canada cannot be reduced to s i n g l e - f a c t o r causal e x p l a n a t i o n s . D e s p i t e r e g i o n a l and temporal v a r i a t i o n s , and the establishment of a social welfare safety net, poverty, unemployment and inadequate soc ia l assistance benefi ts have h i s t o r i c a l l y inf luenced the form of homelessness. The ef fects of de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on and r e v i t a l i s a t i o n have s i gn i f i can t l y a l tered the structure of the inner c i t y and the v i t a l ro le which these areas play in providing a supportive community for the soc ia l l y marginalised homeless. As l i v i n g condit ions have improved, housing problems of the homeless have sh i f ted to concerns over a f fo rdab i l i t y and the lack of low-cost accommodation. Two s ign i f i can t conclusions emerge: homelessness i s not a problem OF c i t i e s ; but IS amenable to publ ic po l icy in tervent ion, of which housing i s a v i t a l but not exclusive part of creat ing a place to c a l l home. Given the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the homeless and the recognit ion that homelessness i s manifest at varying geographic sca les , d i f f e ren t i a l p o l i c i e s , programmes and housing a l ternat ives are required to ass i s t the homeless and reduce homelessness. i i i TABLE OF CONTENTS Page A b s t r a c t i i T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s i v L i s t o f T a b l e s i x L i s t o f F i g u r e s x i Acknowledgement x i i Ch a p t e r One INTRODUCTION 1 THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS 2 STATEMENT OF THESIS 5 HOMELESS PEOPLE AND SOURCES OF HOMELESSNESS: CONCEPTUAL AMBIGUITIES 7 Homelessness as a ' S o c i a l Problem' 10 D e f i n i t i o n s , Enumeration and Measurement 12 D e f i n i t i o n s and P u b l i c P o l i c y C o n s i d e r a t i o n s 13 ORGANISATION OF THE DISSERTATION 15 NOTES 22 Cha p t e r Two GEOGRAPHIC DIMENSIONS OF HOMELESSNESS 25 GEOGRAPHIC CONSIDERATIONS RELEVANT TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOMELESSNESS 25 A GEOGRAPHIC FRAME OF REFERENCE 26 GEOGRAPHIC APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF MENTAL HEALTH 29 LOCALITY AND HOMELESSNESS 36 THE GEOGRAPHIC CONCERNS 37 NOTES 38 i v C h a p t e r Three CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOMELESS AND MARGINALISED IN CANADA 42 THE DISTRIBUTION OF CANADA'S HOMELESS 42 OBSERVATIONS FROM FIELD RESEARCH 46 B r i t i s h Columbia 46 A l b e r t a 52 Manitoba 54 O n t a r i o 56 Quebec 59 The A t l a n t i c P r o v i n c e s 61 A CLASSIFICATION OF THE HOMELESS IN CANADA 62 THE HOMELESS IN CONTEXT 69 NOTES 71 Ch a p t e r Four A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF HOMELESSNESS 76 DEFINITIONS OF HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA 76 AN ANALYSIS OF HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA 79 A REVIEW OF ANALYSES OF HOMELESSNESS 83 Homelessness As A P e r s o n a l Problem 83 Homelessness As A Housing Market Issue 88 Homelessness As A Socio-Economic C o n d i t i o n 95 HOMELESSNESS RECONSIDERED 100 NOTES 102 v Chapter F i v e ECONOMIC PRE-CONDITIONS FOR THE EMERGENCE OF HOMELESSNESS 108 HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA: THE EARLY YEARS 110 THE WELFARE STATE 'SAFETY NET' 112 ECONOMIC PRE-CONDITIONS FOR HOMELESSNESS 115 V a r i a t i o n s i n Income D i s t r i b u t i o n 115 V a r i a t i o n s i n P o v e r t y Trends 118 V a r i a t i o n s i n Unemployment Rates 124 P o v e r t y , J o bs and the Working Poor 125 THE WEAKENING OF THE WELFARE CONSENSUS 128 INCOME ASSISTANCE AND THE RISK OF HOMELESSNESS 129 THE ECONOMIC PRE-CONDITIONS 136 NOTES 138 C h a p t e r S i x THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY TO THE INNER CITY HOMELESS 142 INTRODUCTION 144 SKID ROW AS A HAVEN FOR THE HOMELESS 147 The O r i g i n s o f S k i d Row 149 Unemployment and T r a n s i e n c e : The Growth o f S k i d Row 150 Changes i n the Co m p o s i t i o n o f the S k i d Row P o p u l a t i o n 154 DEINSTITUTIONALISATION 159 D e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n as a P r e c i p i t a n t o f Homelessness 161 D e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n i n Canada 166 REVITALISATION, GENTIRIFICATION AND HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA 173 COMMUNITY RECONSIDERED 174 NOTES 177 v i C h a p t e r Seven HOUSING AS A PRECIPITANT OF HOMELESSNESS 190 INTRODUCTION . 190 HISTORICAL ANTECEDENTS OF HOMELESSNESS: SUB-STANDARD HOUSING IN CANADA 192 THE CURRENT SITUATION: A CRISIS OF AFFORDABILITY? 202 Those Without S h e l t e r 202 S h e l t e r e d But Not Housed 203 Housed But Lack A Home 205 Housing Problems f o r People 'At R i s k ' 206 CHANGES TO THE INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF THE CITIES: GEOGRAPHIC CONSIDERATIONS 207 THE CHANGING INTERNAL STRUCTURE OF THE CITY: IMPLICATIONS FOR THE HOMELESS 212 A f f o r d a b i l i t y , D i s p l a c e m e n t and the D e c l i n e o f the Rooming HouseStock i n T o r o n t o 213 E f f e c t s o f G e n t r i f i c a t i o n on Low Income S i n g l e s i n Ottawa 217 HOMELESSNESS AND HOUSING 220 NOTES 224 Ch a p t e r E i g h t CONCLUSIONS AND PUBLIC POLICY CONSIDERATIONS 233 HOMELESSNESS AND THE HOMELESS 233 HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA 234 GEOGRAPHIC CONSIDERATIONS 236 CONSIDERATIONS FOR PUBLIC POLICY 237 A s s i s t i n g the Homeless and R e s o l v i n g Homelessness i n Canada 237 A B a s i s f o r P u b l i c P o l i c y I n i t i a t i v e s 238 P r o j e c t s , Programmes and P o l i c i e s 239 v i i P r i n c i p l e s - P r o g r e s s i v e A d a p t a t i o n , F a c i l i t a t i v e Management and Community S u p p o r t i v e L i v i n g 240 O r g a n i s a t i o n a l S t r u c t u r e : S i x P a r t n e r s 243 IMPLICATIONS FOR FURTHER ACADEMIC INQUIRY 246 BIBLIOGRAPHY 250 APPENDIX A E s t i m a t e s o f the Homeless i n Canada 261 APPENDIX B I l l u s t r a t i n g S u c c e s s f u l I n n o v a t i o n s : P r o g r e s s i v e A d a p t a t i o n , F a c i l i t a t i v e Management and Community S u p p o r t i v e L i v i n g 271 v i i i LIST OF TABLES Page T a b l e I Media D e s c r i p t i o n s o f the Homeless 64 T a b l e II The Synergy o f the C o n d i t i o n s I n f l u e n c i n g the C o m p o s i t i o n o f Canada's Homeless 68 T a b l e I I I The Synergy o f the C o n d i t i o n s C o n t r i b u t i n g t o Homelessness 80 T a b l e IV Immediate Causes o f Homelessness: S h e l t e r ( S c o t l a n d ) 92 T a b l e V Annual Rate o f Unemployment By P r o v i n c e f o r P e r i o d 1976-1988 126 T a b l e VI Monthly B e n e f i t s o f F a m i l i e s on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e By P r o v i n c e , 1985 130 T a b l e VII Monthly B e n e f i t s o f S i n g l e Persons on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e By P r o v i n c e , 1985 131 T a b l e V I I I Monthly A f t e r - S h e l t e r Incomes o f F a m i l i e s on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e By P r o v i n c e , 1985 131 T a b l e IX Monthly A f t e r - S h e l t e r Incomes o f S i n g l e Persons on S o c i a l A s s i s t a n c e By P r o v i n c e , 1985 132 T a b l e X E s t i m a t e d W e l f a r e Income, By Type o f Household, S e l e c t e d P r o v i n c e s : 1986 134 T a b l e XI R e c i p i e n t s o f R e l i e f or S o c i a l A l l o w a n c e i n B r i t i s h Columbia: 1933-1960 153 T a b l e XII I n c r e a s e i n S o c i a l A l l o w a n c e R e c i p i e n t s : B.C. Lower M a i n l a n d and Vancouver: 1956-1960 154 T a b l e X I I I P r o f i l e s o f R e s i d e n t s and Concerns: Lookout Emergency A i d S o c i e t y 157 T a b l e XIV A Chronology o f General H o s p i t a l P s y c h i a t r y 167 T a b l e XV A d m i s s i o n s , D i s c h a r g e s , and 'On Books' P o p u l a t i o n o f O n t a r i o P r o v i n c i a l Asylums f o r S e l e c t e d Y e a r s , 1800-1976 170 T a b l e XVI Vacancy Rates i n Apartment S t r u c t u r e s o f S i x o r More U n i t s i n M e t r o p o l i t a n A r e a s , 1968-1987 201 i x T a b l e XVII Average P r i c e o f Vacant Apartments i n A p r i l 1987 209 T a b l e XVIII Average Room Rental C o s t s 214 T a b l e XIX C i t y o f Ottawa: General W e l f a r e A s s i s t a n c e Cases 1979-1986 219 x LIST OF FIGURES Page F i q u r e 1 Averaqe Income f o r F a m i l i e s and U n a t t a c h e d I n d i v i d u a l s : 1969-1986 117 F i g u r e 2 F a m i l i e s and U n a t t a c h e d I n d i v i d u a l s L i v i n g i n P o v e r t y : 1968-1984 118 F i g u r e 3 F a m i l i e s and U n a t t a c h e d I n d i v i d u a l s L i v i n g i n P o v e r t y : 1980-1986 120 F i g u r e 4 F a m i l i e s and U n a t t a c h e d I n d i v i d u a l s L i v i n g Below P o v e r t y L i n e By P r o v i n c e : 1986 122 F i g u r e 5 F a m i l i e s and U n a t t a c h e d I n d i v i d u a l s L i v i n g Below P o v e r t y L i n e By Community: 1986 123 x i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The aspi rat ions and goals of my parents have reached another plateau with the conclusion of th is d i sse r ta t ion . To them, and my fami ly , I owe an immeasurable debt of grat i tude. Walter Hardwick, Peter Oberlander, John Chapman, Glenn Drover and Gera ld ine Prat t provided exemplary guidance, support and substantive assistance at a l l phases of th is research. They are large ly responsible for the success of the d i sse r ta t ion . Special thanks go to Sh i r ley Marcus for helping me over numerous drafts and for ed i t ing the f i na l manuscript. Gary Bar re t t , John Lowman, Mark Neithercut, Thomm Gal l i e , Je r r y , Carmel, Carole and Tom a l l contr ibuted to my physical and emotional health during my graduate career. Thank you a l l . Words are inadequate to express the contr ibut ions of Miriam and Simon. Through you my l i f e has changed so pos i t i ve l y , and product ively. Together we w i l l move forward from th is point to new horizons. x i i CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 THE INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF SHELTER FOR THE HOMELESS M i l l i ons of people throughout the wor ld are homeless, and desp i te concerted e f fo r ts to improve condit ions on a global sca le , the number of people l i v i n g in poverty and squalor continues to grow. In 1981, at the ins t iga t ion of the Prime Min is ter of Sr i Lanka, the General Assembly of the United Nations designated 1987 as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless (IYSH), to draw attent ion to the estimated 100 m i l l i on people who have no shel ter of any k ind, and to the one b i l l i o n people who lack a real home - one which provides protect ion from the elements; has access to safe water and san i ta t ion ; provides for secure tenure and personal safety; i s within easy reach of centres of employment, education and health care; and i s at a cost which people and society can af ford.(1) As Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations has suggested, "The International Year of Shelter for the Homeless ra ises questions that run to the heart of the human condit ion and for which answers are not in any sense evident".(2) The foundations for action by the United Nations on behalf of the homeless were establ ished in 1976 at Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Se t t l emen ts , he ld in Vancouver, B r i t i s h Columbia. At that meet ing, representatives of 132 governments addressed the formidable shel ter problems facing countries throughout the world and concluded that there was a c r i s i s in human sett lements' development. In response, The Vancouver Declaration proc la imed the commitment of the internat ional community to improve the l i v i n g and housing condit ions for human beings everywhere through strategies of national and local act ion.(3) While much has been achieved since Habitat '76, the goal of adequate shel ter for a l l remains e lus ive . 2 Homelessness, urban p o v e r t y and u n h e a l t h y l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s have worsened as p o p u l a t i o n i n c r e a s e s and r a p i d , p o o r l y - p l a n n e d u r b a n i z a t i o n e x a c e r b a t e the impact o f the world-wide r e c e s s i o n which began i n the m i d d l e o f the 1970's. In the d e v e l o p i n g w o r l d , the dual p r o c e s s e s o f p o p u l a t i o n growth and r a p i d u r b a n i z a t i o n a r e p l a c i n g a tremendous s t r a i n on the system o f s e t t l e m e n t s . ( 4 ) W i t h i n the next 15 y e a r s , the e n t i r e urban p o p u l a t i o n o f the d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s w i l l d o u b l e , and as has been noted by The B r u n d t l a n d Commission on Environment and Development, d u r i n g t h i s same time frame, the d e v e l o p i n g w o r l d w i l l have t o i n c r e a s e the c a p a c i t y to produce and manage i t s urban i n f r a s t r u c t u r e , s e r v i c e s and s h e l t e r by 65% merely t o m a i n t a i n p r e s e n t c o n d i t i o n s . ( 5 ) In the meantime, c h i l l i n g images o f impoverishment and homelessness a r e r e l a y e d t h r o u g h o u t the w o r l d by the media. I t has been r e p o r t e d t h a t e v e r y 24 hours, more than 50,000 p e o p l e , most o f them c h i l d r e n , d i e o f m a l n u t r i t i o n and d i s e a s e - deaths g e n e r a l l y l i n k e d to l a c k o f adequate h o u s i n g . In L a t i n America a l o n e , more than 20 m i l l i o n c h i l d r e n are e s t i m a t e d t o be l i v i n g on the s t r e e t s . ( 6 ) T h i s i s due i n p a r t t o the f a c t t h a t between 1970 and 1980, the number o f p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c i n g " c r i t i c a l p o v e r t y " grew by 44%, from 90 m i l l i o n t o 130 m i l l i o n . ( 7 ) Nor a r e the homeless c o n f i n e d t o the slum and s q u a t t e r s e t t l e m e n t s o f the d e v e l o p i n g c o u n t r i e s . ( 8 ) In W e s t e r n E u r o p e , t h e y a r e b e c o m i n g more e c o n o m i c a l l y and s o c i a l l y d i v e r s e , and now i n c l u d e growing numbers o f young p e o p l e and the s o - c a l l e d 'new poor'.(9) In G r e a t B r i t a i n , the n a t i o n a l h o u s i n g advocacy group ' S h e l t e r ' r e p o r t s t h a t more and more f a m i l i e s a r e becoming c h r o n i c a l l y homeless. A 1984 e s t i m a t e showed t h a t o v e r f o u r m i l l i o n p e o p l e were l i v i n g i n s u b s t a n d a r d d w e l l i n g s , and t h a t the 140,000 who were 3 l i v i n g in dormitory-style hostels represents an increase of 90,000 on the 1980 f igure (none of the f igures i nc ludes those who lack any form of shel ter) . (10) A 1985 Summit meeting of the European Economic Commission concluded that to become homeless i s not usual ly a f a i l u re on the part of the indiv idual but a f a i l u re of the soc ia l structure and social support systems that each society provides. As a r e s u l t , the homeless in Europe are t y p i c a l l y those who have the fewest resources to survive the social and economic changes imposed upon them by an economic development to which they are s u r p l u s , but i t a l so r e f l e c t s s t r uc tu res in the housing market, def ic ienc ies in general housing p o l i c y and the frequency of r e l a t i v e poverty.(11) In Canada, the IYSH has been instrumental in focusing at tent ion on the fact that homelessness continues to be a problem p a r t i c u l a r l y , but not exc lus ive ly , in the major metropolitan centres. As evidence emerges on the economic, soc ia l and p o l i t i c a l condit ions which can constrain a person 's cho ice and con t ro l over the i r l i v i n g and housing condi t ions, the w e l l -entrenched myth that the homeless are the arch i tects of the i r own misfortune i s slowly being eroded. There i s growing recognit ion that the homeless in Canada are not only people without permanent accommodation, but also those who are experiencing social i n s t a b i l i t y and economic insecur i ty . They include those at r isk of l os i ng , as well as those who have a l ready l o s t t h e i r home.(12) This d isser ta t ion i s offered as a contr ibut ion to the goals and object ives of the IYSH. I t brings to the dialogue a geographic perspective which speaks to a number of re lated conceptual and substantive issues which have relevance to publ ic pol icy considerat ions. 4 STATEMENT OF THESIS Although geographers have so far expressed l i t t l e in terest in analysing the l i nks between homeless people and sources of homelessness, cer ta in basic geographic concepts are shown to provide a relevant and important contextual basis for analysing these l i n k s . I t i s the thesis of th is d isser ta t ion that: The spat ia l d i s t r ibu t ion and d ivers i t y of the homeless in Canada are re lated to physical shel ter problems and to a combination of i nd i v i dua l , soc ia l and economic condit ions which synerg is t i ca l l y produce homelessness at a var iety of reg iona l , urban and local community sca les . Homelessness i s defined as the absence of a continuing and permanent home over which ind iv idua ls or fami l ies have personal con t ro l , and which provides the essent ia l needs of she l te r , privacy and secur i ty at an affordable cost , together with ready access to s o c i a l , economic, health and cu l tu ra l publ ic serv ices. Geographical ly, i t i s a predominantly urban-centred problem; in many regions of the country, homeless-related problems h i s t o r i c a l l y have been chronic, whereas in others, they are spa t ia l l y and temporally ep isodic . This in ten t iona l ly broad de f in i t i on eschews a l ternat ive formulations which regard homelessness as being sole ly a temporary problem, or one which can be traced to a s ingular cause which, by inference, i s amenable to a l inear or s ingular so lu t ion . The thesis i s addressed in four related ways: * There i s an essent ia l spat ia l dimension to the problem of homelessness wh ich i s a t t imes r e f l e c t e d in v a r i a t i o n s in the composi t ion and concentration of the homeless. A geographic frame of reference i den t i f i es l i nks between sources of homelessness and sub-groups among the homeless. 5 * F i e l d observations and secondary sources are drawn upon to describe the d ivers i t y of the homeless and the i r predominantly urban concentration across Canada. The main sources of homelessness are reviewed and analysed. * Three related case studies examine the condit ions and events which produce homelessness at varying geographic scales in Canada and i l l u s t r a t e how the composition of the homeless in par t i cu la r places i s influenced by spec i f i c local condit ions as well as by broader socia l processes. * The f ina l chapter presents the major conclusions and addresses the impl icat ions emerging from th is study for further academic analys is of the geographic dimensions of homelessness. I t ends with a discussion of publ ic p o l i c y i ssues which l i n k ass is tance to the homeless with comprehensive strategies to reduce homelessness in Canada. The remainder of the present chapter addresses some of the conceptual amb igu i t i e s wh ich su r round the use of the terms ' h o m e l e s s ' and 1homelessness 1 . 6 HOMELESS PEOPLE AND SOURCES OF HOMELESSNESS: CONCEPTUAL AMBIGUITIES There a r e w i d e l y d i v e r g i n g views about who the homeless are and what the c o n c e p t o f h o m e l e s s n e s s means. D e s p i t e the a t t e n t i o n g e n e r a t e d by the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Year o f S h e l t e r f o r the Homeless, few attempts have been made t o d i f f e r e n t i a t e homeless peo p l e from s o u r c e s o f homelessness, w i t h the r e s u l t t h a t no g e n e r a l consensus e x i s t s as t o the scope and s c a l e o f the problem. R e l i a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n on homelessness i s s p a r s e and t h e r e i s no a c c u r a t e e s t i m a t e o f the number o f homeless people a c r o s s the c o u n t r y . While the l i m i t a t i o n s on the n a t u r e and r e l i a b i l i t y o f e x i s t i n g data have i m p o r t a n t t h e o r e t i c a l and m e t h o d o l o g i c a l i m p l i c a t i o n s f o r the c u r r e n t s t u d y , the methods chosen t o c o l l e c t and i n t e r p r e t the data a r e a p p r o p r i a t e to the c u r r e n t s t a t e o f the s u b j e c t m a t t e r . In Canada, as i n o t h e r c o u n t r i e s , a c c u r a t e s t a t i s t i c s on homelessness are d i f f i c u l t t o o b t a i n , i n p a r t because e s t a b l i s h i n g r e l i a b l e e s t i m a t e s o f the homeless i s complex and the r e s u l t s a r e o f t e n c o n f u s i n g . While much o f the c u r r e n t emphasis i n v o l v e s making numerical and normative c l a i m s , the p r e c i s e number o f homeless n a t i o n a l l y o r i n any one o f the major c i t i e s a t any g i v e n time depends upon the d e f i n i t i o n chosen, and on the d e s c r i p t i v e b o u n d a r i e s o f s e l e c t e d s o c i a l , economic and g e o g r a p h i c f a c t o r s . To d a t e , t h e s e c r i t e r i a have not been a p p l i e d c o n s i s t e n t l y i n l o c a l o r n a t i o n a l s t u d i e s . F o r i n s t a n c e , i f o n l y those who have no s h e l t e r are c o u n t e d , a r e l a t i v e l y low e s t i m a t e r e s u l t s ; i f t h o s e who r e l y on emergency s h e l t e r s a r e i n c l u d e d i n a d e f i n i t i o n , one g e t s a l a r g e r e s t i m a t e . When the d e f i n i t i o n i s c o r r e l a t e d w i t h i d e n t i f i a b l e s o u r c e s o f homelessness ( e . g . p o v e r t y o r unemployment), f a r g r e a t e r numbers a r e i n v o l v e d . 7 Recent attempts to quantify the homeless in Canada are inconclusive for a number of methodological and pragmatic reasons. Accurate measurement i s d i f f i c u l t because the numbers and composition of the homeless change in response to such f a c t o r s as na t i ona l and reg iona l economic p o l i c i e s , unemployment (par t i cu la r l y temporary, seasonal and regional va r i a t i ons ) , the a v a i l a b i l i t y and use of community-based support serv ices , a v a i l a b i l i t y of low-rent housing, the incidence and persistence of poverty, season of the year , c l imate, day of the month and so on. In Appendix A, the resul ts of a na t i ona l i n q u i r y which sought to est imate the homeless in Canada are reviewed, and questions raised about the l im i ta t ions involved in th is type of research. I t i s argued that the methods which were employed to enumerate the homeless have an important bearing on the resu l ts obtained, and perhaps more importantly, on the in terpretat ion of these resu l t s . Evidence to support the claim that the homeless are becoming increasingly d i ve rse s o c i a l l y and economically was obtained from a number of primary sources. In depth consul tat ions were undertaken wi th i n d i v i d u a l s and organisations act ive in providing assistance to the homeless. These included representatives of l o c a l , prov inc ia l and federal governments, pr ivate sector a rch i tec ts , developers, consul tants, non-prof i t community organisat ions, and homeless people in f ive provinces. F ie ld work included personal on-s i te observation in a range of shel ter and housing pro jects , community support service programmes, emergency she l te rs , detox centres, prov inc ia l and local conferences and workshops in B r i t i s h Columbia, A lber ta , Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. An extensive network of p r o f e s s i o n a l and vo lun teer c o n t a c t s , establ ished since January 1986, has provided advice and detai led information on what i s happening in spec i f i c parts of the country. 8 There are obvious biases in the data and advice provided by these sources, some re f l ec t i ng professional and personal se l f - i n t e res t and others related to p a r t i a l knowledge of the synergy of the condit ions which contr ibute to homelessness. Nevertheless, while every e f fo r t was made to accumulate the best ava i lab le data, i t i s c lear that more str ingent e f for ts are required to produce more r e l i a b l e numerical estimates which can be applied to pol icy and programme development, and which re f l ec t the widely varying economic, socia l and geographic condit ions across the range of prov inc ia l j u r i s d i c t i o n s . The present study demonstrates tha t the conceptual and p r a c t i c a l di f ferences between the terms homeless and homelessness have important geographic impl icat ions which are relevant to publ ic pol icy in tervent ions. The conceptual ambiguity between homeless people and s o u r c e s of homelessness i s more than an issue of semantics. Def in i t ions i m p l i c i t l y involve conceptual and pract ica l impl icat ions which make a di f ference to: * The legit imacy of the issue - e .g . how homelessness i s defined has a bearing on whether or not i t becomes a ' soc ia l problem' which society chooses to address; * Rel iab le s t a t i s t i c a l analysis - e .g . who gets counted, where, how and for what purposes; and to * Publ ic pol icy considerations - e .g . in terms of implementing po l i c ies at appropriate leve ls of j u r i s d i c t i o n and respons ib i l i t y . This point i s examined by contrast ing the range of e f fo r ts to ass i s t the homeless with the l im i ted pol icy-based approaches to reduce the incidence of homelessness. 9 Homelessness as a 'Soc ia l Problem1 The ways in which the terms 'homeless' and 'homelessness' are used largely depends upon the par t i cu la r context: A s o c i a l problem i s a unique conf igurat ion of events and behaviours, unique because some condit ion or s i tuat ion i s singled out for a t tent ion, and e f for ts to solve the problem inf luence the course of soc ia l change. This i s the s tar t ing point for the p o l i t i c a l debate over po l icy opt ions. Unt i l then, the p o l i t i c a l debate i s over whether or not there i s a problem society ought to address.(13) Since at leas t the eighteenth century the number of homeless has been t ied to changes in economic condi t ions, but the socia l care for the homeless has been organised by "upper- and middle-class caretakers" . Their desire for moral reform and fear of social disorder resulted in the homeless being c l a s s i f i e d as a s o c i a l problem. In t rac ing what he describes as the "h i s to r i ca l pathways of the homeless", Hoch argues: I div ide th is b r ie f h istory of the homeless into four h i s to r i ca l time periods based on major changes in the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and care of the homeless performed by the i r caretakers. Each period i s marked by a label for the homeless problem that predominated during that time (vagrancy, t ramping, dev iant and v ic t im) . Such labe l ing was neither completely e x c l u s i v e nor t o t a l l y preempt ive. I am focus ing on c a t e g o r i c a l di f ferences in order to emphasise not only how the de f in i t ions d i f f e red , but how the moral arguments and social power of upper-class e l i t e s and m i d d l e - c l a s s p r o f e s s i o n a l s c l a s s i f i e d homeless people as a p u b l i c problem.(14) (Emphasis added). According to Hoch, the homeless once again became an important socia l problem in the ear ly 1980's when the worst economic recession since the 1930's h i t the United States at the same time that a newly elected president i n i t i a t e d unprecedented cutbacks in f e d e r a l l y funded pub l i c a s s i s t a n c e programmes. Hoch argues that h i s to r i ca l in terpretat ions of the homeless remain relevant today since professionals and o f f i c i a l s often incorporate concepts from the past into the i r de f in i t ions and proscr ipt ions for the homeless: 10 The e c l e c t i c c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the homeless today retains the older in te rpre ta t ions , but separates the homeless into d i s t i n c t types according to the spec ia l i zed c r i t e r i a of d i f ferent professions serving the homeless. These types are based on a combination of causal and moral c r i t e r i a that r e f l ec t the contours of in terpretat ion l e f t behind by e a r l i e r e f fo r ts to channel the socia l and economic uncertaint ies of a changing homeless population into predictable t r i bu ta r ies of socia l order and care.(15) Hoch c l a s s i f i e s of the homeless using the twin axes of moral and causal c r i t e r i a : C lass i f i ca t i ons of the Homeless Responsib i l i ty for Homeless Condition Others Sel f From INSIDE the person DEVIANT VAGRANT From OUTSIDE the person VICTIM TRAMP Hoch, C. "A Br ie f History of the Homeless Problem in the United S ta tes" , in Bingham et a l . Homelessness in Contemporary Society, Sage Pub l ica t ions , 1987 The horizontal axis out l ines the moral c r i t e r i a used to determine socia l respons ib i l i t y for homelessness. The morally deserving are those who endure the burden of homelessness through no fau l t of the i r own; the undeserving suffer a pr ivat ion brought about as a consequence of the i r own choice. The ve r t i ca l axis i den t i f i e s the causal c r i t e r i a . The primary source of the homeless condit ion can be traced back e i ther to psychological breakdowns within the ind iv idual or the pressures of s o c i a l , economic, and physical forces external to the i nd i v i dua l . The signposts of e a r l i e r pathways of reform s t i l l inform the judgments of d i f ferent profess ionals . Missionar ies devoted to converting the immoral and pol ice committed to incarcerat ing the unlawful tend to perce ive the homeless as vagrants or tramps whose predicament i s self- imposed. In contrast , psych ia t r i s ts and psychologists focus on the causes of the indiv idual mental and physio logical i l l n e s s that set the homeless apart as deviant or d isabled, while social workers and organizers tend to explore how ins t i t u t i ona l forces have pushed people out of the i r shel ter . (16) Causes of Homeless Condition 11 Hoch p o i n t s out t h a t c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s o f the homeless which a r e based on c a u s a l and moral assessment a r e p r e d i c a t e d on t h e d e p l o y m e n t o f s o c i a l power, and as a r e s u l t contemporary c a r e t a k e r s , l i k e t h e i r p r e d e c e s s o r s , pass judgement on the c o n d i t i o n s , c auses and i n t e n t i o n s o f homeless p e o p l e "which mix c o m p l i a n c e w i t h c a r e " . He c a u t i o n s however t h a t such assessments by p r o f e s s i o n a l " s p e c i a l i s t s " may, when based on the power o f p o s i t i o n and the e x e r c i s e o f c o n t r o l , a c t u a l l y undermine the c a p a c i t y o f the homeless to f e n d f o r t h e m s e l v e s , and r e i n f o r c e the stigma a s s o c i a t e d w i t h b e i n g l a b e l l e d a " s o c i a l problem". D e f i n i t i o n s , Enumeration and Measurement The l a c k o f consensus o v e r what c o n s t i t u t e s homelessness a l s o makes a d i f f e r e n c e t o s t a t i s t i c a l a n a l y s i s - i n p a r t i c u l a r , who i s t o be counted? How? Where? And f o r what purpose? Recent attempts t o enumerate the homeless i n Canada and the U.S.A. are i n c o n c l u s i v e (see Appendix A ) . Depending upon the p a r t i c u l a r d e f i n i t i o n and s u r v e y methods used, e s t i m a t e s v a r i e d from 20,000 to 100,000 i n Canada, and from 250,000 t o 4 m i l l i o n i n the U n i t e d S t a t e s ! (17) There i s c u r r e n t l y no r e l i a b l e e s t i m a t e o f the homeless because the methods c u r r e n t l y employed are not s u f f i c i e n t l y s e n s i t i v e t o the d i v e r s i t y among the homeless or to the synergy o f the c o n d i t i o n s and e v e n t s which produce homelessness i n Canada. S i n c e t h e r e i s no s i n g l e cause, and a l i m i t e d number o f i n - d e p t h l o c a l a n a l y s e s , c u r r e n t e s t i m a t e s tend t o be c o n s e r v a t i v e and l i m i t e d t o s p e c i f i c s u b - p o p u l a t i o n s o f the homeless. The most common e s t i m a t e s i n f a c t a r e r e s t r i c t e d t o t h o s e who u t i l i s e the emergency s h e l t e r system, and i n some c a s e s , a r e a c t u a l l y e s t i m a t e s o f the number o f a v a i l a b l e beds i n t h i s system. 12 Def in i t ions and Publ ic Pol icy Considerations Def in i t ions of homelessness embody a conception of the source of the problem, and by i m p l i c a t i o n , what are cons idered to be appropr ia te so lu t ions . As Greve suggests: The term 'homelessness ' - l i k e ' d i s a b l e m e n t ' , ' s u b n o r m a l i t y ' , or 'depr ived' - represents the conceptual isat ion of a s i tua t ion by people who make decisions about p r i o r i t i e s in the a l loca t ion of socia l resources. Thus, how they in terpret 'homelessness' bears d i rec t l y upon po l i c i es and has impl icat ions for those who receive or f a i l to receive serv ices. The meaning placed upon 'homelessness' by o f f i c i a l s and p o l i t i c i a n s , i s therefore of considerable importance in re la t ion to def ining need and determining the nature and volume of resources to be al located.(18) Given the p o l i t i c a l structure in Canada, where housing, employment, socia l serv ices , heal th , education and so on, are the respons ib i l i t y of indiv idual m in i s t r i es , and given the const i tu t ional j u r i sd i c t i ons of the federal and prov inc ia l governments, spec i f i c pub l i c p o l i c i e s and the a l l o c a t i o n of resources are c r i t i c a l to the implementation of remedial or proactive so lu t ions . As Hulchanski has argued: The current p o l i t i c a l debate over homelessness in economically advanced countr ies such as the U.S. and Canada i s best understood as a contest over the po l icy status of th is issue. I t could break into the arena of serious publ ic consideration and publ ic ac t ion , or i t could be dismissed as i ns i gn i f i can t and gradually blend into the accepted order of th ings. Th is exp la i ns why much of the l i t e r a t u r e and media cove rage of homelessness, at th is stage of i t s development as a publ ic issue, i s preoccupied with making numerical and normative claims.(19) This point can be i l l u s t r a t e d by examining how def in i t ions are related to courses of ac t ion . In the United Kingdom for example, the t rad i t i on for some is to equate homelessness with actual roof lessness. Others focus narrowly on personal charac te r i s t i cs of the homeless and propose explanations based on varying degrees of socia l incompetence. The tendency in th is case i s to regard those who become homeless as rep resen t i ng a " s p e c i a l " problem requir ing " spec ia l " - often i ns t i t u t i ona l solut ions.(20) 13 F i n a l l y , o thers such as Greve argue for a broader perspective which d i f f e r e n t i a t e s between a dwe l l i ng and a 'home', and therefore between rooflessness and homelessness. Greve argues that a home i s more than a place. I t i s also imbued with a set of personal re la t ionships which are as v i t a l to a person's secur i ty and wel l -being as having four wal ls and a roof over one 1s head: What seems to be c r y s t a l l i s i n g from the present concern with de f in i t ions i s a d i s t i nc t i on - and an awareness for the need for such a d i s t i n c t i o n -between 'houselessness 1 and 'homelessness'. There i s a trend away from the former - from the view that homelessness means simply being without accommodation - to a recognit ion of homelessness as a more complex s ta te , something m u l t i - d i m e n s i o n a l , i n v o l v i n g the q u a l i t y of l i f e , and pa r t i cu la r l y of re la t ionships between members of a family (or household), and not j us t the possession of a roof over one's head. The emphasis i s s h i f t i n g away from 'house ' towards 'home' wi th a l l t h i s imp l i es psychological ly and emotionally.(21) When homelessness i s de f ined as a housing problem in B r i t a i n , the response has been to seek housing s o l u t i o n s , ranging from ex tens ive programmes of loca l Council House rental construct ion, to the provis ion of incent ives to promote home ownership among renters, and to guarantee shel ter protect ion under the 1977 Homeless Person's (Housing) Act.(22) Where i t i s considered to be related to personal i ty t r a i t s , the response i s to look to the s o c i a l work and heal th-care professions for ways of ' t r ea t i ng ' the problems. How the problem i s defined therefore, s i gn i f i can t l y inf luences the type and scope of remedial act ion taken. In Canada, the ambiguity surrounding the appropriate use of 'homeless' and 'homelessness' i s re f lec ted in the fact that most of the emphasis i s on ass i s t i ng the homeless. These e f for ts are most often i n i t i a t e d by local organisat ions, espec ia l ly voluntary and non-governmental agencies, and are predominantly project and programme responses to immediate problems. However, s ince homelessness i s produced at a var iety of geographic sca les , local 14 in i t ia t ives need to be complemented by public policies to ensure the effective mobilisation of resources, and also to ensure that proposed solutions appropriately reflect local, community and regional differences in homelessness. The remainder of this chapter outlines the organisation of the dissertation. Organisation of the Dissertation Chapter 2 presents the main geographic frame of reference for the study of homelessness in Canada. It is based on three related arguments: (i) homelessness results from reciprocal relations between human agency and broader economic and social processes; (ii) these relations become manifest in identifiable spatial arrangements at varying spatial scales; and ( i i i ) these spatial arrangements in turn influence both the composition of the homeless in specific geographic locations and the incidence and persistence of homelessness (regional conditions and particular places make a difference to the reciprocal relations through which homelessness is constituted and transformed). The reciprocal relations between human agency, social processes and spatial arrangements which produce homelessness can be identif ied by examining economic and social processes which combine regionally, and conditions and events which contribute locally to the changing composition and concentration of the urban homeless. One conclusion from this argument represents a contribution to the debate on homelessness which previously has not been explored. While homelessness is manifest in individual problems in the major urban centres, i t is related to conditions which are constituted at a variety of spatial scales. Homelessness is therefore not fundamentally a problem of ci t ies, but rather a problem i_n cit ies. 15 In Chapter 3, f i e l d observations and a review of recent studies from across Canada are presented to demonstrate that the homeless const i tute a broad soc ia l and economic , spectrum of soc ie ty , and that the composition of the homeless in the 1980's i s more diverse than during e a r l i e r per iods. The stereotypical t ransients who dr i f ted across the country in search of work or adventure, and the s ingle older men on we l fa re who have t r a d i t i o n a l l y occupied the skid row areas have been joined by women, chi ldren and ent i re f am i l i es ; Canada's homeless now include the young, o l d , handicapped and the able-bodied, those who have given up and those who are being passed over. Chapter 4 examines the condit ions and events which cont r ibu te to the problems of the homeless. Ten major sources of homelessness are i den t i f i ed inc lud ing: housing a f f o r d a b i l i t y , displacement, de i ns t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on , the lack of adequate community support s e r v i c e s , pover ty , unemployment, i n su f f i c i en t s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e b e n e f i t s , fami ly breakdown, i n d i v i d u a l r e s p o n s i b i l i t y and s o c i a l a t t i t u d e s . A review of the i n t e r n a t i o n a l l i t e ra tu re on homelessness corroborates the Canadian experience that personal problems and housing issues are commonly l inked to broader s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l condi t ions. Two s i gn i f i can t conc lus ions emerge from the review: ( i ) homelessness in Canada appears to be both a condit ion of and in some cases a response to a var iety of in te r - re la ted problems; ( i i ) the synergy of the condit ions and events which produce homelessness suggests that place s i gn i f i can t l y inf luences the par t i cu la r forms homeless-related problems can take. These issues are central to the case studies in chapters 5-7. Three case examples are used to underscore that homelessness in Canada i s not, and has never been sole ly a housing or shel ter problem. 16 In C h a p t e r 5, a t l e a s t t h r e e economic c o n d i t i o n s a r e shown t o have c o n t r i b u t e d h i s t o r i c a l l y t o r e g i o n a l and temporal v a r i a t i o n s i n the i n c i d e n c e and s e v e r i t y o f homelessness. In the f i r s t h a l f o f the c e n t u r y , p o v e r t y and unemployment were major s o u r c e s o f homelessness, p a r t i c u l a r l y d u r i n g p e r i o d s o f e c o n o m i c c r i s i s s u c h as o c c u r r e d d u r i n g t h e 1930's. With o n l y a r u d i m e n t a r y system o f p u b l i c a s s i s t a n c e , the onus was on i n d i v i d u a l s t o s u p p o r t themselves and t h e i r f a m i l i e s . The emergence and s t r e n g t h e n i n g o f the s o c i a l w e l f a r e ' s a f e t y net' d u r i n g the 1950's and 1960's c o i n c i d e d w i t h a p e r i o d o f s u s t a i n e d e c o n o m i c p r o s p e r i t y d u r i n g which l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s improved s u b s t a n t i a l l y but economic p r e - c o n d i t i o n s f o r homelessness, w h i l e c o n s i d e r a b l y r e d u c e d , were not e l i m i n a t e d . S u g g e s t i o n s t h a t homelessness i s once a g a i n on the r i s e i n the 1980's a r e c o r r o b o r a t e d by examining t r e n d s i n income, p o v e r t y and unemployment i n the l a s t two decades. The e f f e c t s o f the economic r e c e s s i o n s o f the mid-1970's, c o u p l e d w i t h government p o l i c i e s o f f i s c a l r e s t r a i n t have r e s u l t e d i n a weakening o f the w e l f a r e consensus and i n a r e s u r g e n c e o f economic s o u r c e s o f homelessness i n many p a r t s o f the c o u n t r y . These e f f e c t s are l i n k e d to p a t t e r n s o f uneven economic development a c r o s s the p r o v i n c e s , but h o m e l e s s n e s s has i n c r e a s e d e v e n i n t h e more pr o s p e r o u s r e g i o n s , p a r t l y because o f the weakening w e l f a r e consensus, and a l s o because o f the r e l a t i v e l y h i g h c o s t o f l i v i n g i n c i t i e s such as T o r o n t o , Montreal and Vancouver. T h i s c l a i m i s s u p p o r t e d by examining the i n a d e q u a t e p r o v i s i o n o f income a s s i s t a n c e i n t h e s e j u r i s d i c t i o n s . While the a n a l y s i s r e l i e s on aggregate d a t a , the s p a t i a l impact o f the economic t r e n d s o u t l i n e d are shown t o be l o c a l l y m a n i f e s t i n community and p e r s o n a l problems. 17 C h a p t e r 6 e x a m i n e s c o n d i t i o n s w h i c h have s u b s t a n t i a l l y a l t e r e d the c o m p o s i t i o n o f the s o c i a l l y m a r g i n a l i s e d h o m e l e s s and s e r v i c e - d e p e n d e n t groups, and t r a n s f o r m e d the i n t e r n a l s t r u c t u r e o f the c i t y . While t h e r e has always been a c o r e group o f t r a n s i e n t homeless men i n Canada, t h e i r number and d i s t r i b u t i o n have a l t e r e d i n r e c e n t y e a r s as a r e s u l t o f the u n i n t e n d e d consequences o f d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n p o l i c i e s , and as t h e i r t r a d i t i o n a l s k i d row m i l i e u has come under i n t e n s i v e redevelopment p r e s s u r e s . The e f f e c t s o f t h e s e r e l a t e d s o c i a l and economic p r o c e s s e s are a n a l y s e d w i t h i n the c o n t e x t o f the v i t a l r o l e which the i n n e r c i t y p l a y s i n p r o v i d i n g a s u p p o r t i v e community f o r the homeless, m a r g i n a l i s e d and d i s e n f r a n c h i s e d . H o m e l e s s n e s s i s shown t o be c l e a r l y r e l a t e d t o p e r s o n a l and s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s and e v e n t s , and a t the same time to economic c o n s i d e r a t i o n s which are r e l a t e d t o r e d u c t i o n s i n the s u p p l y o f l o w - c o s t accommodation a p p r o p r i a t e t o the needs o f poor i n n e r c i t y r e s i d e n t s . The a n a l y s i s o f the p r o c e s s e s which have combined t o c r e a t e and s u b s e q u e n t l y a l t e r s k i d row, and which have c o n t r i b u t e d t o making t h i s m i l i e u home by c h o i c e f o r some, and by d e f a u l t f o r o t h e r s , d e m o n s t r a t e s a s p e c i f i c i n s t a n c e o f how the d i a l e c t i c r e l a t i o n s between s o c i a l p r o c e s s e s and s p a t i a l form o p e r a t e i n p r a c t i c e . C h a p t e r 7 r e c o g n i s e s the fundamental s i g n i f i c a n c e o f h o u s i n g problems as a n e c e s s a r y but not s u f f i c i e n t p r e - c o n d i t i o n f o r homelessness, but i t a d d r e s s e s the i s s u e i n a way not p r e v i o u s l y seen i n Canadian s t u d i e s . I t i l l u s t r a t e s how l o c a l c o n d i t i o n s and e v e n t s and b r o a d e r s o c i a l and economic p r o c e s s e s combine t o produce h o u s i n g problems among f o u r sub-groups o f the homeless. Two r e l a t e d p r o p o s i t i o n s a r e d i s c u s s e d : i s t h e h o u s i n g d i m e n s i o n o f homelessness s i m p l y the most r e c e n t f o r m u l a t i o n o f the h i s t o r i c a l problem o f p r o v i d i n g h o using f o r peo p l e who c a n n o t a f f o r d t h e p r i v a t e m a r k e t ( i n 18 effect, an income problem)? Or is there something substantively different about the current situation which sets i t apart from past housing crises? An analysis of housing problems in Canada reveals that the particular characteristics of the present housing market, and changes in housing policies which affect the shelter needs of the poor, have produced a set of circumstances which were not evident during earlier periods of pronounced homelessness in Canada. The historical evidence suggests that Canada began the post-WWII period with a large stock of aging and substandard housing and a substantial number of households living in overcrowded and slum conditions. Recent indications are that the housing problems of low-income people are related to issues of affordability and to shortages of low-cost housing which can be traced in part to the changing internal structures of cit ies. These changes have produced a number of related conditions which together constitute a qualitative change in the urban housing market: the older low-cost rental accommodation is being allowed to deteriorate to the point that i t is taken out of the market while the land on which i t is situated increases in value; and the traditional rooming houses, boarding homes and residential hotels are disappearing. The traditional issue of housing need outstripping effective market demand is being exacerbated by a series of related social, economic and policy trends, including: changes in the composition of the poor (particularly among women, single employable but unemployed individuals, and youth); the unmet promise of deinstitutionalisation and the fulf i l led objectives of inner city revitalisation; and changes in government housing programmes and policies under federal and provincial jurisdiction. 19 The f i n a l c h a p t e r br ings together the conclus ions der ived from f i e l d observa t ions , the review of the l i t e r a t u r e and the analyses in the case examples, to substant ia te that homelessness in Canada i s deeply rooted in the i n d i v i d u a l , s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l s t ructure of Canadian s o c i e t y . Among these var ious sources , there are some which are d i r e c t l y l inked to homelessness whereas others are cont ingent ly r e l a t e d , in var ious ways, and fo r d i f f e r e n t homeless groups. From a geographic perspec t ive , homelessness i s seen to be manifest at varying spa t ia l s c a l e s , which in turn a l t e r the pre -cond i t ions fo r the emergence of homelessness and the composition of the homeless. While i t has been argued in some quarters that a c e r t a i n measure of homelessness i s endemic to Canada's urban popu la t ion , a major con t r ibu t ion to the debate from the r e s u l t s of t h i s study i s that homelessness i s not e x c l u s i v e l y produced by c i t i e s , or by any other s ingu la r source. Chapter 8 a lso addresses publ ic p o l i c y c o n s i d e r a t i o n s . Homelessness in Canada i s subject to pub l ic p o l i c y r e s o l u t i o n , of which housing i s a v i t a l , but not e x c l u s i v e par t . Homelessness cannot and w i l l not be solved by governments a lone. The v i a b i l i t y of systemat ic , sustained and c o s t - e f f e c t i v e s t ra teg ies to a s s i s t the homeless and reduce homelessness in Canada, rests w i th the w i l l i n g n e s s and commitment of the publ ic and non-governmental sectors to co -ord ina te t h e i r e f f o r t s and work in concert with the poor and disadvantaged. Using examples of r e l a t i v e l y successful approaches to addressing homeless-re la ted problems across the country , three concepts are advanced which should be an in tegra l part of a p o l i c y framework to solve homelessness in Canada. They are predicated on the assumption that the goals of pub l ic p o l i c y in t h i s area include developing i n i t i a t i v e s to a s s i s t the homeless create a 20 home, and u l t i m a t e l y i d e n t i f y i n g g e n e r i c c r i t e r i a which would a l l o w f o r the r e p l i c a t i o n o f l o c a l l y d e r i v e d s o l u t i o n s on a r e g i o n a l b a s i s . The t h r e e c o n c e p t s a r e : P r o g r e s s i v e A d a p t a t i o n - a st a g e d o r i n c r e m e n t a l p r o c e s s o f p r o v i d i n g s u p p o r t and r e s o u r c e s which i s s u f f i c i e n t l y f l e x i b l e t o be a b l e t o respond to the ch a n g i n g and v a r i a b l e needs o f the i n d i v i d u a l as ( s ) h e p r o g r e s s e s o r r e g r e s s e s . The p r o c e s s i s based on the c o n c e p t o f a i d e d s e l f - h e l p , and can a p p l y to e i t h e r a r e s i d e n t i a l s e t t i n g o r t o community-b a s e d o p p o r t u n i t i e s t o r e g a i n p r o d u c t i v e s e l f - s u f f i c i e n c y ; F a c i l i t a t i v e  Management - a p r o c e s s which f o s t e r s the development o f communities o f peop l e who choose t o a c t t o g e t h e r t o improve t h e i r w e l l - b e i n g . The p r i m a r y goal i s t o c r e a t e a r e s i d e n t i a l o r community environment which empowers p e o p l e t o make c h o i c e s and d e c i s i o n s t o improve t h e i r l i v i n g c o n d i t i o n s and p e r s o n a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s , but a l s o i n c l u d e s an approach to ho u s i n g management. The s u c c e s s o f the p r e v i o u s two c o n c e p t s depends t o a l a r g e e x t e n t on the e f f e c t i v e n e s s o f Community S u p p o r t i v e L i v i n g - which r e c o g n i s e s t h a t p e o p l e r e q u i r e a s u p p o r t i v e e n v i r o n m e n t w i t h i n w h i c h t o r e g a i n t h e i r s e l f -s u f f i c i e n c y and s t a b i l i t y , and become r e - i n t e g r a t e d w i t h i n the community o f t h e i r c h o i c e . By d e s i g n i n g community-based programmes p r o d u c t i v e l y w i t h the consumer, and by e n s u r i n g t h a t s u p p o r t s e r v i c e s a r e f l e x i b l e , p o r t a b l e and " d e - l i n k e d " from h o u s i n g r e q u i r e m e n t s , a spectrum o f comprehensive and co-o r d i n a t e d o p t i o n s can be p r o v i d e d which t a i l o r programmes t o the i n d i v i d u a l , and s t r e n g t h e n t h e i r t i e s t o the community. 21 Notes 1. Uni ted Nat ions Centre for Human Settlements (Habi tat) , Habitat News, V o l . 5 , N o . l , Apri l-May 1983. See a l so , "IYSH: Project Guide l ines" , Na i rob i , Kenya 1986; Bui ld ing for the Homeless, New York: U.N. Department of Publ ic Information, DPI/903 - 40156, March 1987. 2. Stephen Lewis, Opening remarks to B.C. Conference on Homelessness, A Place  to C a l l Home, May 16, 1987, (Arthur L. F a l l i c k and J.David Hulchanski, General Ed i to rs ) . Vancouver, B .C . : The Universi ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1987. 3. The Vancouver D e c l a r a t i o n endorsed 64 recommendations which would integrate settlement p o l i c i e s , settlement planning, the provis ion of she l te r , in f rast ructure and serv ices , land use and land tenure, the ro le of popular pa r t i c i pa t i on , and e f fec t i ve i ns t i t u t i ons and management. 4. Up to 50% (in some c i t i e s nearly 80%) of the urban population current ly l i v e s in slums and squa t te r se t t lements in which the popu la t ion i s increasing at twice the rate of the c i t i e s themselves. This represents an annual growth rate of 3.5%, or some 49 m i l l i on people. In 1950 only two c i t i e s in the developing countries had populations of over f i ve m i l l i o n . By 1980 there were 26 such c i t i e s , 19 of them in the developing countr ies. By the year 2000, given current trends, 60 c i t i e s w i l l have populations of over 5 m i l l i o n ; 45 of them are in the developing countr ies. United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habi tat) , Global Report on Human Settlements 1986, New York: Oxford Univers i ty Press, 1987. 5. Gro Harlem Brundtland, (Chai r ) . Our Common Future, The World Commission on Environment and Development. Oxford, U.K.: Oxford Univers i ty Press, 1987. 6. UNCHS(Habitat). Bui ld ing for the Homeless. 7. Seno Comely. Closing remarks to B.C. Conference on Homelessness, A Place  to Cal l Home, May 16, 1987. 8. Reports from the 10th (Commemorative) Session U.N. Commission on Human Settlements, Na i rob i , Kenya, Apr i l 1987. 9. In 1985 twelve European nations gathered at a summit meeting sponsored by the European Economic Commission to discuss poverty and homelessness. In 1987, the IFHP Standing Committee reported on the resu l ts of a meeting between 10 European countr ies on homelessness in i ndus t r i a l i sed countr ies. National Campaign for the homeless, "Homelessness in the European Community", Report on the f i r s t EEC Commission on Poverty and Homelessness held in Cork, I re land, September 1985. International Federation for Housing and Planning, Homelessness in Indust r ia l ised Countr ies. The Hague: Report by the IFHP Standing Committee, "Housing", October 1987. 10. National Campaign for the Homeless (Shel ter ) . Shelter Progress Report. Special ed i t ion marking the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. London, 1987. 22 11. Nat iona l Campaign fo r the Homeless, "Homelessness in the European Community". 12. Richard Peddie. "Homeless in a Cold Cl imate" , paper presented at the International Housing Conference ' C i t y Renewal Through P a r t n e r s h i p s ' , Glasgow, Scot land, Ju ly 7, 1987. 13. J . David Hulchanski. "Who are the Homeless? What i s Homelessness? The P o l i t i c s of Defining an Emerging Po l icy Issue." U.B.C. School of Community and Regional Planning, Discussion Paper #10, Apr i l 1987. 14. Charles Hoch. "A Br ie f History of the Homeless Problems in the United S t a t e s " , i n R ichard D. Bingham, Roy E. Green and Sammis B. White. The  Homeless in Contemporary Society, Beverly H i l l s : Sage Pub l i ca t ions , 1987. 15. Ib id . 16. Ib id . 17. The Canadian es t imates come from the Canadian Counc i l on Social Development which reported in 1986 that between 20,000 and 40,000 Canadians were absolutely homeless, but also employed a de f in i t i on of homelessness which was equated with poverty (and according to the CCSD, over 4.5 M i l l i o n people were l i v i n g below the S t a t i s t i c s Canada poverty l i ne in 1984). The U.S. estimates are derived from studies by HUD (250,000 - 350,000) and the Community for Creative Non-violence (over 4 m i l l i o n ) . 18. John Greve's research has had a s ign i f i can t impact on how the concept of homelessness has come to be def ined, and how i t re lates to the broader question of what const i tutes a home. His landmark 1964 study of homelessness in London argued the need for greater c l a r i t y and agreement in how these concepts are defined and operat ional ised. John Greve. Homelessness in  London, Edinburgh: Scot t ish Academic Press, 1964. 19. Hulchanski. "Who are the Homeless?" 20. Jane Morton. "Causes and Solut ions: A Cross-national Perspect ive" , Paper p r e s e n t e d a t the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e ' C i t y Renewal Through Par tnersh ips ' , Glasgow, Scot land, Ju ly 7, 1987. 21. Greve. Homelessness in London. 22. A review of the 1977 Housing (Homeless Persons) Act by Paul Watchman of Dundee Un ivers i ty , suggests that homelessness has grown rapid ly in the U.K. over the past ten years , and that although 150,000 people are o f f i c i a l l y recognised as being homeless, " th is does not include housing condit ions which any c i v i l i s e d country would condemn". According to Watchman, the three main object ives of the act were: i . To t ransfer primary respons ib i l i t y for housing homeless persons from socia l se rv ices / socia l work departments which did not have d i rec t access to housing accommodation, to housing departments which did have (and by so doing 23 to emphasise that homelessness was itself f i rst and foremost a housing problem and not the result of human frai l ty); i i . To establish a legally enforceable right to assistance for homeless persons; i i i . Encourage a corporate approach to the problem of homelessness and end what had become an internecine struggle between social services/social work departments and housing departments (and to place stress on the need to take preventive action to ensure that accommodation is not lost rather than merely responding to the crisis of becoming homeless). The goal of advocates of the act was that al l homeless people have priority for public housing. They succeeded only with families, the elderly, and the handicapped; single people and childless couples were excluded. Also, families considered intentionally homeless can be barred from priority government housing. Watchman, Paul. "Homelessness 1977-1987: A Decade of Distress and Disappointment", Paper presented at the International Conference 'City Renewal through Partnerships', Glasgow, Scotland, July 7, 1987. 24 CHAPTER TWO: GEOGRAPHIC DIMENSIONS OF HOMELESSNESS 2 4 a GEOGRAPHIC CONSIDERATIOANS RELEVANT TO AN UNDERSTANDING OF HOMELESSNESS I t seems o b v i o u s t h a t space makes a d i f f e r e n c e . We have o n l y t o r e f l e c t upon the most mundane o f our a c t i v i t i e s t o r e c o g n i s e i t s e f f e c t : t h a t t h i n g s must be i n the r i g h t p l a c e i f we a r e t o use them o r be a f f e c t e d by them i s commonsense...[But] how i m p o r t a n t i s i t and how s h o u l d space and i t s supposed e f f e c t s be understood? What are the i m p l i c a t i o n s o f space f o r s o c i a l t h e o r y and p r a c t i c e ? (1) T h e r e i s an i n h e r e n t s p a t i a l dimension t o the problem o f homelessness which i s r e l a t e d to v a r i a t i o n s i n the c o m p o s i t i o n and c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f the homeless. To date however, t h i s dimension has r e c e i v e d l i t t l e a t t e n t i o n by a n a l y s t s or by tho s e engaged i n s e e k i n g s o l u t i o n s t o the problem. Research by geographers has tended t o f o c u s on s p e c i f i c s u b - p o p u l a t i o n s among the homeless ( e . g . the m e n t a l l y i l l r e l e a s e d i n t o communities from p s y c h i a t r i c i n s t i t u t i o n s , o r the t r a d i t i o n a l homeless t r a n s i e n t s who occupy s k i d row and i n n e r - c i t y n e i g h b o u r h o o d s ) , o r on a p a r t i c u l a r s o u r c e o f homelessness (e.g. the l a c k o f a f f o r d a b l e h o u s i n g , d i s p l a c e m e n t o r g e n t r i f i c a t i o n ) . While t h i s r e s e a r c h p r o v i d e s v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t s i n t o p a r t i c u l a r a s p e c t s o f the homeless and some o f the problems they f a c e , i t i s o f t e n l i m i t e d by a narrow f o c u s o f i n q u i r y which n e g l e c t s the e s s e n t i a l synergy o f the c o n d i t i o n s and e v e n t s w h i c h c o m b i n e t o produce v a r i a t i o n s i n the i n c i d e n c e o f homelessness a t d i f f e r e n t s p a t i a l s c a l e s , as w e l l as p r o d u c i n g s p e c i f i c c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f homeless p e o p l e . The purpose o f t h i s c h a p t e r i s t o p r e s e n t a g e o g r a p h i c frame o f r e f e r e n c e which w i l l be used t h r o u g h o u t the d i s s e r t a t i o n t o make the f o l l o w i n g c a s e : * Homelessness r e s u l t s from r e c i p r o c a l r e l a t i o n s between human agency and b r o a d e r s o c i a l and economic p r o c e s s e s ; * These r e l a t i o n s a re c o n s t i t u t e d i n , and become m a n i f e s t i n i d e n t i f i a b l e s p a t i a l arrangements, but a t v a r y i n g s p a t i a l s c a l e s ; 25 * Regional economic and s o c i a l c o n d i t i o n s , and spec i f i c geographic locat ions make a di f ference to the r e c i p r o c a l r e l a t i o n s through which homelessness i s const i tuted and transformed. * The processes through which homelessness i s c o n s t i t u t e d cannot be understood simply by t racing i den t i f i ab le concentrations of the homeless, a point which was ser iously overlooked in the recent Nat iona l Inqu i ry on Homelessness conducted by the Canadian Council on Social Development in 1987.(2) The main thrust of th is argument i s that homelessness i s const i tuted in spec i f i c places which have an important bearing on how and where spec i f i c problems become manifest. A GEOGRAPHIC FRAME OF REFERENCE The p e r s p e c t i v e chosen to examine the geographic dimensions of homelessness in Canada stems from the argument that the in teract ions between ind iv idua ls and society are fundamentally inf luenced by the places in which these in teract ions are carr ied out, and as a resu l t , the spat ia l form of socia l a c t i v i t y cannot be ignored in explanations of the processes which creates i t . Spat ial patterns should not be regarded however as merely providing the backdrop within which socia l ac t i v i t y takes place. Rather, these arrangements substant ia l ly inf luence the ways in which soc ie t y i s const i tuted and re-const i tuted in par t i cu la r places because the space-society d i a l e c t i c i s an integral part of soc ia l a c t i v i t y . This perspective i s by no means o r i g i n a l . C lass ica l geographic studies of region, p lace, community, pays de v i e , loca l i sm, e tc . have long recognised that places d i f f e r from one another, and that these dif ferences can have s o c i a l l y meaningful e f fec ts . 26 The present study contributes to this tradition, as well as to the debate in social theory concerning the significance of space in relation to social processes and practice, by the nature of the subject matter under investigation. There has recently been a geographic analysis of one element of homelessness in Canada and the United States in which which the authors argue: Any narrative about landscapes, regions, or locales is necessarily an account of the reciprocal relationship between relatively long-term structural forces and the shorter-term routine practices of individual human agents.(3) Dear and Wolch suggest that the economic, political and social processes which produce a given geographic outcome evolve at different temporal rates, although they are also place-specific, in the sense that "these relationships unfold in recognizable 'locales' according to some precise logic of spatial diffusion".(4) However, they argue that i t is not possible to predict the exact spatial outcome of the interaction between structure and agency, because while individual activities are framed within a particular structural context, they can also transform the context itself: Geographical patterns...are evolving manifestations of a complex social process. As society evolves, so does its spatial expression; but by the same token, the geographical form will have repercussions on the social forces themselves.(5) The authors examine the links between deinstitutionalisation and homelessness by tracing the development and persistence of what they term "the service-dependent ghetto" which has been created by "skilled and knowledgeable actors (or agents) operating within a social context (or structure), which both limits and enables their actions": . . . in the context of urban-based service-dependent populations, our use of the term "ghetto" differs in certain respects from its more common usage 27 by soc ia l sc ien t i s t s in reference to rac ia l or ethnic minor i t ies ( i . e . black ghetto, Jewish ghetto). In these l a t t e r cases, the term implies spat ia l concentrat ion; the use of majority force or coercion (phys ica l ; l e g a l ; soc ia l pract ice) in maintaining the ghetto pattern; and a sense of community and s e l f - i d e n t i f i c a t i o n as ghetto-dwel lers. In the case of the service-dependent population ghetto, spat ia l concentration may be lower in absolute degree; the use of coercion or force i s minimal; and a sense of community may or may not be experienced by res idents. However, s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l p r a c t i c e s , including service del ivery po l i cy , planning regulat ions and land-use zoning, poverty and d isc r im ina t ion , act to el iminate non-ghetto a l ternat ives for the service dependent. Thus, l i k e other ghe t tos , the serv ice-dependent ghetto i s a c o e r c i v e l y constructed element in urban space, not simply a resu l t of preferences for sel f -segregat ion ( l i ke an ethnic enclave) or the resu l t of purely economic fac tors . (6) Accord ing to Dear and Wolch, "the geography of dependence" among the mentally i l l in North America began in the la te nineteenth century as large-scale i ns t i t u t i ons such as mental hospi ta ls became the predominant set t ing for housing and t reat ing various dependent populat ions. These f a c i l i t i e s were located in iso la ted rural areas or in central c i t y d i s t r i c t s . With the emergence of community-based care af ter the 1950's, however, a dramatic turn-about in p u b l i c po l i cy resul ted in massive reductions in the number of i n s t i t u t i ona l i sed people. Because the network of se r v i ces which were supposed to f a c i l i t a t e the i r s t a b i l i t y in the community did not mater ia l ise s u f f i c i e n t l y , many d r i f ted to the most run-down parts of the central core. At the same time, a var iety of services were also concentrated in these areas, and the combination produced "service-dependent population ghettos". Dear and Wolch's argument that "the re f lex ive impact of space on society" produces recognisable ' l o c a l e s ' according to a log ic of spat ia l d i f f us i on , s i g n i f i c a n t l y extends the geographic a n a l y s i s of mental h e a l t h , and underscores a number of common c r i t i c i sms concerning some of the l im i ta t ions of much of the spat ia l research in the 1960's and 1970's.(7) 28 GEOGRAPHIC APPROACHES TO THE STUDY OF MENTAL HEALTH Medical geography has t r ad i t i ona l l y been concerned with the e f fec t ive d e l i v e r y of hea l th c a r e , notably i n s tud ies which have examined the prov is ion , d i s t r i bu t ion and use of mental hea l th f a c i l i t i e s . (8) Other s tud ies have assessed how ra tes of hospital admission and release are affected by locat ional considerations such as d is tance, and others have corre lated the spat ia l concentration of services and f a c i l i t i e s with leve ls of use and perceived sa t i s f ac t i on . (9) In each case however, the focus has been l imi ted to a par t i cu la r aspect of mental health rather than l i nk ing the various issues a n a l y t i c a l l y . Wi th in the past two decades, there have been two d i s t i n c t changes in or ientat ion in geographic approaches to the study of mental heal th. The f i r s t re f lec ted a sh i f t toward the considerat ion of locat ional factors which have an i den t i f i ab le impact on the l i ves of the mentally i l l . This approach i n i t i a l l y adapted concepts from economic geography, pa r t i cu la r l y locat ional ana lys i s , to assess the s ign i f icance of distance and a c c e s s i b i l i t y in the prov is ion , d i s t r i bu t ion and use of mental health f a c i l i t i e s . Studies of optimal locat ions were common as geographers sought to convince themselves and others of the s t ra teg ic s ign i f icance of locat ional factors for publ ic pol icy formulation.(10) Second ly , by the la te -1970 's , a sizeable body of l i t e ra tu re began to emerge which explored the locat ional c o n f l i c t s involved in the d is t r i bu t ion of f a c i l i t i e s , and the re locat ion of former mental hospital pat ients into the community.(11) Th is concern about community mental health issues gained considerable momentum as de ins t i t u t i onal i sa t i on p o l i c i e s began to take e f fec t . At th is t ime, the so-ca l led Quanti tat ive Revolution in geography had 29 generated a whole new arsenal of techniques and an appeal for s c i e n t i f i c c r e d i b i l i t y , which together were used to argue for the legit imacy of "a geography of mental h e a l t h " . In Canada, three re la ted concerns were emphasised in th is research: ( i ) studies exploring community opposit ion to the s i t i ng of mental health f a c i l i t i e s (e .g. the reasons given for the perceived 'noxiousness' of these f a c i l i t i e s ) ; ( 1 2 ) ( i i ) studies which attempted to d is t ingu ish between the " tangible and intangib le ex terna l i ty e f fec ts " (the l i nks to economic geography are c lea r l y evident in the terminology used);(13) and ( i i i ) studies which were concerned with t r y i n g to i d e n t i f y s u i t a b l e neighbourhoods in which to locate mental health f a c i l i t i e s . ( 1 4 ) While th is research has been successful in introducing aspects of mental hea l th to the geographers, i t was l ess e f fec t ive in demonstrating the importance of geographic considerat ions to analyses of homelessness.(15) By the ear ly 1980's, de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on had become a preoccupation of many analysts in several d i s c i p l i n e s , and much of the geographic research r e f l e c t e d t h i s t r e n d . The emphasis s h i f t e d from i den t i f y i ng optimal locat ions of f a c i l i t i e s toward explanations for the spat ia l concentration and soc ia l i so la t i on of the mentally i l l , who tended to be character ised by the misnomer "ex-psych ia t r ic pat ien ts" . Much of th is geographic research was based on iden t i f y ing the exclusionary forces which were operating at the metropolitan or neighbourhood scales:(16) On a community l e v e l , Segal and Aviram (1978) describe how opposit ion to community based mental health f a c i l i t i e s may be manifested through the exclusion of the mentally i l l by e i ther formal or informal mechanisms. The soc ia l and spat ia l segregation of the mentally i l l has also been integrated into a Marxian theory of the state (Dear,1981). This analysis focuses on the ro le of space as one key element in the soc ia l reproduction of c l a s s r e l a t i o n s . Both Dear and Peet argue that i nequa l i t y i s perpetuated by ind iv iduals being locked in to a "p r i son of space and resou rces " which in the case of the mentally i l l , may represent the asylum, the ghe t to , or the ' c l o s e d community. Fur thermore, Dear i m p l i c a t e s the a c t i v e r o l e of the s ta te in the spat ia l and socia l 30 r e p r o d u c t i o n o f t h e m e n t a l l y i l l , o c c u r r i n g most o f t e n through urban p l a n n i n g s t r a t e g i e s . ( 1 7 ) Throughout the 1980's, the r e s e a r c h by Dear and a s e r i e s o f c o l l a b o r a t o r s has been p a r t i c u l a r l y i n f l u e n t i a l among geographers s t u d y i n g mental h e a l t h . T h e i r a n a l y s e s o f the f o r m a t i o n o f s p a t i a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n s o f the m e n t a l l y i l l i n O n t a r i o was based on the argument t h a t the c o n c e n t r a t i o n o f s u p p o r t s e r v i c e s and s e r v i c e - d e p e n d e n t p o p u l a t i o n s were i n d i c a t i v e o f a t r e n d toward 'the p u b l i c c i t y ' . A c c o r d i n g t o t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , i n n e r c i t y abandonment and g e n t r i f i c a t i o n r e p r e s e n t an i n h e r e n t s t r u c t u r a l f e a t u r e o f u r b a n i z a t i o n which i s n e c e s s a r y t o i n s t i l l s o c i a l r e p r o d u c t i o n : G i v e n t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s (abandonment and g e n t r i f i c a t i o n ) , the s e r v i c e -dependent p o p u l a t i o n s , t y p i f i e d by l i m i t e d incomes and m o b i l i t y , form an a v a i l a b l e market t o f i l l the vacuum c r e a t e d i n the i n n e r c i t y . The r e s u l t a n t s p a t i a l d e l i n e a t i o n o f p o p u l a t i o n s (which may be r e i n f o r c e d by the s t a t e through p l a n n i n g mechanisms), i s seen t o be i n s t r u m e n t a l i n s e t t i n g i n motion a s e l f - r e i n f o r c i n g p r o c e s s r e p r o d u c i n g the s o c i a l and s p a t i a l i n e q u a l i t i e s a l r e a d y e x i s t i n g . Thus, from t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e , the p u b l i c c i t y i s seen as a f u n c t i o n a l i n e q u a l i t y r e p r o d u c i n g u n i t , r a t h e r than an ad hoc c l u s t e r i n g o f p e o p l e and s e r v i c e s . ( 1 8 ) The a n a l y s i s by Dear and Wolch r a i s e s a number o f i n t e r e s t i n g g e o g r a p h i c c o n s i d e r a t i o n s about homelessness i n Canada, but t h e i r study i s l i m i t e d by i t s narrow emphasis on d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n . S e v e r a l o f t h e s e i s s u e s r e l a t e s p e c i f i c a l l y t o t h i s d i s s e r t a t i o n , but are a d d r e s s e d i n a more b r o a d l y based e x a m i n a t i o n o f the synergy among the c o n d i t i o n s which c o n t r i b u t e t o homelessness: * The o p e r a t i o n o f t h e s p a c e - s o c i e t y d i a l e c t i c i n t h e g e n e s i s o f h omelessness; * The s p a t i a l c o n c e n t r a t i o n and v a r y i n g c o m p o s i t i o n o f homeless groups i n r e l a t i o n t o the i n t e r a c t i o n between agency and s t r u c t u r e ; 31 * The d i f fe ren t ia t i on between condit ions and events which inf luence the spat ia l manifestation of homelessness, and those which produce s p e c i f i c concentrations of the homeless; * The previous considerat ion ra ises the p o s s i b i l i t y of ascerta in ing which ( i f any) sources of homelessness are essen t ia l l y problems of c i t i e s , and which are problems i_n c i t i e s . The di f ference i s s ign i f i can t for publ ic po l icy considerat ions. This l a s t point represents an important geographic contr ibut ion to the homelessness debate which has not been previously addressed. Harvey Lithwick has suggested that the growth of large c i t i e s leads to competing demands for scarce urban space, dr iv ing core pr ices upward and households outward. The poor become locked into the central areas with pr ices and rents squeezing them as urbanization proceeds.(17) The present study d i f f e rs from L i thwick 's explanation in one c r i t i c a l respect. In discussing the housing problems of the poor, Lithwick stressed the 'urbanness' of the problem, contending that they did not occur in c i t i e s in the same way as they do in small towns and rural areas, "we might c a l l them problems of the c i t y to d is t ingu ish them from the simpler i_n the c i t y problems".(20) While recognising that his focus was housing problems facing the poor , not homelessness, L i t h w i c k ' s conclusion that the problem i s fundamentally of c i t i e s i s not supported here. Rather, i t i s suggested that the housing problems of the poor are not c rea ted s o l e l y by housing condi t ions, but are related to broader s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l condit ions which are not generated by c i t i e s . Although homelessness in Canada i s manifest pr imar i ly in the major urban centres, the pre-condit ions for many of the economic and housing problems 32 o r i g i n a t e a t r e g i o n a l , n a t i o n a l and i n some c a s e s i n t e r n a t i o n a l s c a l e s . T h i s would s u g g e s t t h a t homelessness i s n o t f u n d a m e n t a l l y a problem OF c i t i e s , b ut r a t h e r a problem I_N c i t i e s . T h i s c o n c l u s i o n does not negate the f a c t t h a t c i t i e s a r e p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a n t t o an u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f the dimensions and dynamics o f homelessness i n Canada. F o r i n s t a n c e , i n c h a p t e r s i x , the i n n e r - c i t y i s shown t o be an i m p o r t a n t arena i n which h o m e l e s s - r e l a t e d problems have t r a d i t i o n a l l y been c o n c e n t r a t e d . I t has been an i m p o r t a n t s o u r c e o f s u p p o r t i v e community l i v i n g f o r the homeless and s o c i a l l y m a r g i n a l i s e d , and i t has a l s o been a t r a p f o r them. Recent developments have seen the i n n e r - c i t y becoming ' r e v i t a l i s e d 1 , and a sharp d e c l i n e i n l o w - c o s t accommodation i n the a r e a c o u p l e d w i t h e c o n o m i c r e s t r a i n t measures which reduced the s o c i a l s e r v i c e s a v a i l a b l e , have t h r e a t e n e d the s t a b i l i t y and s e c u r i t y o f many p e o p l e who r e g a r d t h i s a r e a as t h e i r home. I t s h o u l d be noted t h a t the c o n c l u s i o n drawn here d i f f e r s i n some r e s p e c t s from the a n a l y s i s by Dear and Wolch, who argue t h a t : As i n s t i t u t i o n s have been c l o s e d , d i s c h a r g e d p o p u l a t i o n s have g r a v i t a t e d toward s p e c i f i c zones i n our urban a r e a s . These have t y p i c a l l y been c o r e a r e a s o f the i n n e r c i t y , where the s e r v i c e - d e p e n d e n t have found h e l p i n g a g e n c i e s and h o u s i n g o p p o r t u n i t i e s . As dependent persons m i g r a t e d t o t h o s e u r b a n l o c a t i o n s ( o f t e n from c o n s i d e r a b l e d i s t a n c e s o u t s i d e the c i t y ) , they a t t r a c t e d more s e r v i c e s which themselves a c t e d as a magnet f o r y e t more needy p e r s o n s . A s e l f - r e i n f o r c i n g c y c l e o f g h e t t o i z a t i o n was thus begun. T h i s s p e c i f i c urban m a n i f e s t a t i o n o f the d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n p r o c e s s  i s , we b e l i e v e , the key t o u n d e r s t a n d i n g the h i s t o r y and p o s s i b l e  f u t u r e o f our c u r r e n t s o c i a l w e l f a r e dilemmas. We have p r e v i o u s l y  r e f e r r e d t o t h i s phenomenon as the growth o f the ' p u b l i c c i t y . ( 2 T T (emphasis added) From t h i s p e r s p e c t i v e g h e t t o i z a t i o n i s an i n f o r m a l p r o c e s s o f s p a t i a l f i l t e r i n g t hrough which a m o b i l e m i n o r i t y o f the more s e v e r e l y d i s o r d e r e d g r a v i t a t e towards a r e a s o f t r a n s i e n t accommodation i n the c o r e a r e a s o f 33 c i t i e s . The inner c i t y becomes a coping mechanism in the search for a home, a job, support s e r v i c e s and help wi th the bas i c a c t i v i t i e s of d a i l y l i v ing . (22) There are two areas of considerable overlap between the present study and that by Dear and Wolch which stem from the common concern with ident i fy ing how s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n s assoc ia ted wi th homelessness are const i tuted in par t i cu la r p laces. They re la te to issues raised in connection with the analysis of ' l o c a l i t i e s ' , an approach developed most f u l l y by geographers in the United Kingdom, but which i s a t t rac t ing a growing i n t e r - d i s c i p l i n a r y audience.(23) ' Loca l i t y s tudies ' make the case that there i s an essent ia l spat ia l dimension to the in teract ions between ind iv idua ls and broader socia l processes, and as a resu l t , spat ia l re la t ions make a di f ference to the way soc ia l re la t ions are structured and transformed. The term ' l o c a l i t y ' has a precise meaning for the proponents of t h i s perspective.(24) I t i s used to s ign i fy that there i s something more involved in geographic d i f fe ren t ia t i on than merely ident i fy ing d i s t i nc t spat ia l un i ts . I t also incorporates the notion of local s p e c i f i c i t y , or in some cases local causa l i ty . (25) Loca l i t y Studies developed in part as a react ion against d e f i c i e n c i e s in regional and spat ia l studies which claimed that spat ia l r e l a t i o n s c rea ted s o c i a l behav iour . Duncan d i scusses some of these i n te l l ec tua l cul -de-sacs in the debate over the re la t i ve s ign i f icance of the soc ia l and the s p a t i a l . He contrasts the t r a d i t i o n a l pe rspec t i ves in sociology and economics with those in geography and urban sociology: ( in economics and soc io logy ) . . . soc ie t i es and economies have been treated as though they ex i s t on the head of a p in . In so far as space was admitted, th is was usual ly jus t a matter of a minor and l im i ted deviat ion from spaceless (and usual ly also t imeless) social phenomena. This view 34 was handily confirmed by the opposite extreme of geography and urban socio logy, where the autonomy of the spat ia l was, equally i nco r rec t l y , of prime explanatory importance.(26) Duncan extends his c r i t i que to "non- t rad i t iona l " theories (e .g . C a s t e l l s ' new urban sociology) in which the spat ia l i s considered to be something produced by soc ie ty , and can therefore be reduced to i t s socia l const i tuents. This type of explanation i s argued to have developed as an over-react ion to spat ia l determinism. The fol lowing discussion of urban ecology s tud ies i l l u s t r a t e s the thrust of th is general c r i t i q u e : I t was not jus t any space that determined socia l behaviour, but par t i cu la r sorts of space. Drawing o r i g i n a l l y on the urban ecology of the Chicago school , and Wir th 's "Urbanism As A Way Of L i f e " , the assumption was that pa r t i cu la r spat ia l arrangements - for example the urban - were fundamental to soc ia l organisat ion and behaviour - hence the urban way of l i f e , urban s o c i e t y , urban managers and so on. That~This view was essen t ia l l y spa t i a l l y determinist ic probably helps explain why these theories were so a t t rac t i ve to geographers looking for replacements for the region and for the soc ia l l y contentless spat ia l science. Community studies was a less t h e o r e t i c a l l y a s s e r t i v e form of t h i s d e t e r m i n i s t i c use of s p a t i a l s p e c i f i c i t y . The notion was that par t i cu la r socia l communities existed as spa t i a l l y defined and autonomous soc ia l units - with the demise of urban ecology as a presentable theory - urban sociology could thus coalesce around community s tudies. Unfortunately for these attempts to create  e s s e n t i a l l y spat ia l theories" and d i s c i p l i n e s , space i s not autonomous  from society nor does i t determine soc ia l behaviour, (although) i t does  make a di f ference.(27) (Emphasis added). These attempts to es tab l ish spat ia l theories of society were c r i t i c i s e d for e levat ing the local basis of socia l s t r u c t u r e above a l l o thers by theoret ica l f i a t , or else because they depended on or resul ted in spat ia l determinism: These concepts were unable to d is t inguish between contingent and act ive e f fec ts and so ended up in the spat ia l fe t ish ism of spa t i a l l y determined soc ia l ac t ion . Theories of 'the urban 1 , urban and rural socia l systems or ways of l i f e , communities and neighbourhood, pays de v ie and region have a l l been used in th is way. That these concepts have been taken so far (and hence f a t a l l y overreached themselves) par t ly depends on the socia l need to f i n d a d i s t i n c t i v e theore t i ca l base for explanatory theory. Threatened by the i n te l l ec tua l and soc ia l dominance of basic economic and soc ia l theory, both geography and urban sociology have clutched at spat ia l s p e c i f i c i t y in th is unwarranted way.(28) 35 This c r i t i q u e of the t r a d i t i o n a l approaches to the study of the s ign i f i cance of spat ia l d i f fe ren t ia t i on to some extent over -extends the arguments concern ing the inherent l i m i t a t i o n s of these a l t e r n a t i v e approaches. By l im i t i ng the focus to redundant e f f o r t s to develop an e x p l i c i t spat ia l theory, they diminish the s ign i f icance of empirical and conceptual con t r i bu t i ons from a s u b s t a n t i a l body of urban and s o c i a l geography. LOCALITY AND HOMELESSNESS The argument from Loca l i ty Studies that spat ia l re la t ions are const i tuted in par t i cu la r places which are d i f fe rent ia ted by the uneven development of natural and socia l structures i s incorporated into the present concern with i d e n t i f y i n g v a r i a t i o n s in the c o n d i t i o n s and even ts wh ich p roduce homelessness in Canada. I t i s shown in chapter f i v e , for example, that while spat ia l re la t ions make a d i f ference to v a r i a t i o n s in the inc idence of pover t y , these r e l a t i o n s do not n e c e s s a r i l y produce homelessness in par t i cu la r poor regions of the country. The existence of poverty i s not su f f i c i en t for homelessness to occur. There i s an addi t ional dimension to Loca l i t y Studies which re lates to the present concern with geographic dimensions of homelessness: There may be l o c a l i t i e s with par t i cu la r socia l e f fects but most of the time we are simply ta lk ing about local var ia t ions resu l t ing from spat ia l contingency or , poss ib ly , from local causal processes. These l o c a l i t i e s  and t h e i r e f f e c t s should be e m p i r i c a l l y demonstrated, ra ther than  asse r ted , and " l o c a l i t y research" should perhaps be renamed "the ca~s¥  study method . Loca l i t y i s not the place from which to s ta r t research. (29) (emphasis added). Much of the empirical research i s based on spec i f i c case studies which examine how local and non-local processes combine to produce p a r t i c u l a r e f fec ts in d i f fe rent areas. The Economic and Social Research Council in 36 Br i t a i n has invested a substant ial proportion of i t s research funds in three major projects which involve deta i led study of sub-regional areas: * The Social Change and Economic L i f e i n i t i a t i v e (SCEL), * The Changing Urban and Regional Systems i n i t i a t i v e (CURS), * The Economic R e s t r u c t u r i n g , Social Change and Loca l i t y Programme (ESRO.OO) The case study method i s used in the present study to show that the problems af fect ing d i f fe rent homeless sub-groups can be traced to the d i r e c t and i n d i r e c t e f f e c t s of varying sources of homelessness which or ig inate and in teract at a var iety of spat ia l sca les . THE GEOGRAPHIC CONCERNS * There i s an essent ia l spat ia l dimension to the problem of homelessness, but geographic analyses to date are l im i t ed , both in number and in focus. * A frame of reference which re lates human a c t i v i t y to the space-society d i a l e c t i c provides a basis from which to analyse condit ions which inf luence regional var ia t ions in homelessness, and which produce local var ia t ions in the composition and concentration of the homeless. * The s i g n i f i c a n c e of geographic d i f f e ren t i a t i on within and between phenomena and places has been a t rad i t iona l concern for geographers. The deta i led examination of spec i f i c case examples provides a va l i d point of departure for l i nk ing local processes and aggregate data. 37 NOTES 1. A. Sayer. "The Difference that Space Makes", in Gregory D. and J . Urry. Social Relat ions and Spat ia l Structures, London: Macmillan 1985. 2. Canadian Council on Social Development. National Inquiry on Homelessness, Ottawa: Canadian Council on Social Development, September 1987. 3. M. Dear and J . Wolch. Landscapes of Despair: From De ins t i t u t i ona l i za t ion to Homelessness, Pr inceton, N . J . : Princeton Univers i ty Press, 1987. 4. Ib id . 5. Ib id . 6. Ib id . 7. Ib id . 8. C . J . Smith, "Problems and Prospects for a Geography of Mental Heal th." Antipode, Vo l .10 , N o . l , March 1978. 9. For a review of t h i s l i t e r a t u r e , see Pu lc ins , "Sel f -Help in Mental Heal th" . 10. Ib id . 11. Ib id . 12. Ib id . 13. Ib id . 14. Ib id . 15. There are two notable exceptions. Bassuk's research, and the studies by Hopper and Hamburg d iscussed in chapter one, e x p l i c i t l y address the importance of space and p lace to an understanding of the dynamics of homelessness. Leona L. Bachrach. "Is the Least Res t r i c t i ve Environment Always the Best? Socio log ica l and Semantic Impl icat ions" , Hospital and Community Psychiat ry , Vo l .31 , No.2, February 1980; a l so , "Geographic Mobi l i ty and the Homeless Mentally 111", Hospital and Community Psychiat ry , Vo l .38, N o . l , January 1987. There have been re l a t i ve l y few studies on the homeless mentally i l l which have addressed geographic considerat ions: Richard C. Baron. "Changing Publ ic At t i tudes about the Mentally 111 in the Community", Hospital and Community Psychiat ry , Vo l .32, No.3, March 1981. In the same volume, David Turkat, "Community Support for the Psych ia t r i ca l l y Disabled: A State Perspect ive" ; Christopher J . Smith, "Hospital Proximity and Publ ic Acceptance of the Mentally 111". Smith also has an a r t i c l e in a subsequent volume: "Geographic Patterns of Funding for Community Mental Health Centers" , H&CP, Vo l .35 , No.11, November 1984. 38 16. Pu lc ins . "Sel f -Help in Mental Heal th" . 17. Ib id . Pulc ins reviews various contr ibut ions by geographers on the issue of bias in urban planning s t ra teg ies : " i t has been pointed out, for example, that ' l eas t r i s k ' zoning regulat ions are instrumental in r es t r i c t i ng mental hea l th f a c i l i t i e s from some neighbourhoods, while consequently saturat ing those where leas t opposit ion i s ant ic ipated" (Wolpert, e t . a l . , 1975; Segal and Aviram, 1978; Dear and Taylor , 1979, 1982). Joseph and Hall (1985) also comment that d i f f e ren t i a l p o l i c i e s , or rather a var ia t ion in the t rans la t ion of prov inc ia l po l i c i es as well as discrepant municipal bylaws are large ly contr ibutory to the varying leve ls of saturat ion of group homes between Toronto m u n i c i p a l i t i e s , and at a d i s t r i c t s c a l e , a l so w i t h i n these mun ic ipa l i t i es . Furthermore, s i gn i f i can t discrepancies in placement po l i c i es (of c l i en t s to f a c i l i t i e s ) wi thin spec i f i c areas have been noted to encourage f a c i l i t y saturat ion in some neighbourhoods." 18. Pu lc ins . " S e l f - h e l p " . The formation of spat ia l concentrations of the mentally i l l in Canada has also been analysed by Beamish who argues that the high concentration of service-dependent ind iv idua ls in the inner c i t y can be at t r ibuted to a formal process whereby patients are assigned to agencies in p a r t i c u l a r a reas . In addi t ion however, there i s an informal f i l t e r i n g process whereby patients gravi tate to inner c i t y areas since they provide cheap rental accommodation, high concentrations of support f a c i l i t i e s and more to lerant community at t i tudes to "deviant behaviour". See C. Beamish. "Space, State and C r i s i s : Towards a Theory of the Publ ic C i t y . " Unpublished M.A. Thesis , Dept. of Geography, McMaster Un ivers i ty , Hamilton, 1981. 19. Harvey L i thwick. Urban Canada: Problems and Prospects, Ottawa:Central Mortgage and Housing Corporat ion, 1970. 20. Ib id . 21. Dear and Wolch, Landscapes of Despair. They go on to argue: "other commentators have drawn attent ion to the deep-rooted socia l changes current ly a f fect ing modern c i t i e s . Manuel C a s t e l l s , for example, has referred to the essen t ia l l y anarch is t ic process of contemporary urbanization in what he c a l l s the ' w i l d c i t y ' . S tan ley Cohen (somewhat more s i n i s t e r l y ) views the development of community-based care as an exercise in the dispersal of social control - in what he c a l l s the 'puni t ive c i t y ' " . 22. According to Pu lc ins , Dear himself has acknowledged that the spec i f i c areas in which empirical research were conducted (e .g . Hamilton and Toronto in Ontar io, and San Jose in C a l i f o r n i a ) , may be exceptional circumstances "because of the massive numbers of ex-pat ients discharged at one time, coupled with the existence of large scale areas f i t t i n g the descr ipt ion of the ' ghe t to ' . " "Sel f -Help in Mental Heal th . " 21. S .S . Duncan. "What i s Loca l i t y? " Working paper 51, Urban and Regional S t u d i e s , U n i v e r s i t y of Sussex, 1986. See a lso : J . Urry. " L o c a l i t i e s , reg ions and s o c i a l c l a s s " , Internat ional Journal of Urban and regional  Research , V o l . 5 , No.4, 1981. D~! Massey. "New Direct ions in Space , TTT 39 Gregory and Urry. Social Relat ions and Social Structures. M. Savage, James Barlow, Simon Duncan and Peter Saunders. "Loca l i t y Research: the Sussex Programme on Economic Restructur ing, Social Change and the L o c a l i t y " , The  Quarterly Journal of Social A f f a i r s , V o l . 3 , N o . l , 1987. J . Urry. "Loca l i t y Research: The Case of Lancaster" , Regional Studies, Vo l .20, 1986. 24. Duncan notes "The term ( l oca l i t y ) has become, in s im i la r but d i f fe rent ways, used as a shorthand fo r "place based re la t ions between work and community" (Massey 1984), " loca l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n systems" (Urry 1983), and the "key basis of co l l ec t i ve i den t i f i ca t i on in contemporary cap i ta l i sm" (Cooke 1984, although ind ica t i ve ly he prefers in the end the notion of " reg ion" ) . He out l ines what the term l o c a l i t y i s considered to e n t a i l : i " l o c a l i t y " i s a fashionable, but confusing and undeveloped term. i i The concept does, however, refer to something important. Spat ia l var ia t ion and s p e c i f i c i t y are i n f l uen t i a l for soc ia l act ion and th is inf luence i s act ive as well as passive. i i i On log ica l grounds we would expect space, or at least spat ia l v a r i a t i o n , to make a d i f f e r e n c e . Th is i s , however, a pass ive contingency e f fec t rather than an act ive causal e f fec t . This i s our  f i r s t level of soc io-spat ia l i n te rac t ion . iv Over and above th is contingency e f fec t , causal ef fects may be l o c a l l y d e r i v e d . Th is i s our second l e v e l . Fur thermore, a combinat ion of these may c rea te what can be c a l l e d a ' l o c a l i t y  e f f e c t ' . The sum of l o c a l i t y derived causes i s greater than the sum of the par ts . In both these cases, our second and th i rd leve ls of soc io-spat ia l i n te rac t ion , local va r ia t i ons are a c t i v e in the sense of causa l l y producing outcomes rather than jus t contingently a f fect ing them. (Emphases added) 25. C a u s a l i t y i s used in the r e a l i s t sense of change being related to l o c a l l y spec i f i c processes, as opposed to the Humean view of causal i ty which holds that one event can only be the cause of the other i f i t occurs pr ior to i t , and whenever the f i r s t occurs, i t i s always followed by the second. See A. Sayer . "The Di f ference that Space Makes". See also R. Harre. The  Pr inc ip les of S c i e n t i f i c Thinking, London: Macmillan, 1970 26. "What i s Loca l i t y? " 27. Ib id . Duncan's paper has been the most useful in "unpacking" the central concepts of l o c a l i t y research. For example, he i s one of the few authors who has taken the t r oub le to in form the u n i n i t i a t e d reader that the term ' l o c a l i t y ' can refer to any sub-national place. 28. Duncan argues that th is l i s t i s more or less a l i s t of f a i l u r e s . "The l i t e ra tu re i s more or less agreed that i f i t wasn't for these concepts and the way they were used, then more and better work would have resul ted (see Dunleavy 1980; Saunders 1979, 1980, 1981 for reviews). 40 29. Ib id . 30. The ESRC approach d i f fe rs from the other two in a number of ways which are relevant to the present study. i The SCEL and CURS studies use a standardised survey approach to generate a comparable base of aggregate data with which to develop a comprehensive p ro f i l e of economic change in spec i f i c l o c a l i t i e s . In the Sussex programme, each of the f i ve l o c a l i t i e s are examined independently rather than as part of a comparative ana lys is . i i The ESRC research r e l i e s more heavily on secondary data sources (from census, housing s t a t i s t i c s , regional economic data e t c . , and stresses the importance of integrat ing th is material with the knowledge and experiences of key ind iv idua ls who are well qua l i f i ed to comment on the trends in d i f fe rent l o c a l i t i e s . The case study method followed in the present context i s more s im i la r to the ESRC programme than to the others. 41 THE DISTRIBUTION OF CANADA'S HOMELESS They are v i s i b l e in most Canadian c i t i e s - - people who for a var iety of reasons, and for varying lengths of time, sleep in doorways, under br idges, in de re l i c t bu i ld ings , in darkened recesses of back a l l e y s , in the parks, or in makeshift shel ters which are dismantled with the f i r s t l i gh t of dawn. During the day they wander the s t ree ts , t ry ing not to appear conspicuous so as not to draw undue attent ion to themselves. Their routine often involves frequenting publ ic bui ld ings and spaces which af ford some respi te from the da i ly drudgery of securing food at the soup k i t chen or the food bank; en te r ing the revolving door into the tangled web of the soc ia l services system; re-emerging f rus t ra ted, out into the streets to cont inue a we l l defined but essen t ia l l y meaningless i t i ne ra ry unt i l i t i s dark enough to hole up for the night , perhaps with some d i s t i l l e d e l i x i r to block out the fear and lonel iness for even a short time. The homeless flotsam and jetsam of urban society are not a new phenomenon. What i s new and s i g n i f i c a n t , i s that the t rad i t iona l indigent and t ransient represent only a f rac t ion of those who are homeless in Canada today. A growing number of descr ip t ive p r o f i l e s of the homeless have been produced in response to the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Usually evocative and often sensat ional , they re f l ec t a growing, although in some cases re luctant recogni t ion, that there are homeless people in every major metropolitan region in Canada who do not f i t the t rad i t iona l stereotype of the vagrant who has opted out of society with a bo t t le . Opinions d i f f e r widely as to the exact numbers involved, on the reasons why people become homeless, or indeed that a problem e x i s t s . 42 CHAPTER THREE: CHARACTERISTICS OF THE HOMELESS AND MARGINALISED IN CANADA 4 2 a The three excerpts below are ind ica t i ve of how the homeless have been portrayed in Canada. They i l l u s t r a t e two re lated issues: the heterogeneity among those who are categorised as homeless, and the s t ra teg ic ro le which the media have played in inf luencing perceptions about the homeless and the sources of the i r problems: In many cases the roots of a homeless person (not unl ike my own) can be traced from a moderate- to middle-class background complete with high school educa t i on . Many were marr ied wi th r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s and w e l l - p a y i n g pos i t ions . For every 'wine head' and 'space cadet' I have encountered, I have met f i v e p o t e n t i a l cand idates fo r the a r t s , p o l i t i c a l sciences, engineering, mathematics, and physics f i e l d s , for the m i n i s t r y , f o r the labour movement, even those who would have made excel lent s t ra teg is ts on the bat t le f i e l d s . The socio-economic backgrounds of these people whom, for whatever reason, have become homeless are as diverse as the i r l i v e s . There are numerous factors that come into play and c o n t r i b u t e to a homeless person's condi t ion. One p o s s i b i l i t y may simply be because people are human and, therefore, subject to human m is takes . Maybe they c o u l d n ' t f u l l y comprehend how to deal ob ject ive ly with matters in the i r personal l i v e s . Maybe they found i t impossible to cope with a demanding system that can only o f fer expensive material rewards of dubious qua l i t y . Maybe the s t ra in of competing against the i r fe l low workers in the i r haste to 'reap the s p o i l s ' paradoxical ly drove some to alcohol and ru in . Maybe some never t ru ly had a chance from the beginning and so were defeated before they began. Maybe some jus t gave up in f rus t ra t i on . Much can be sa id about being homeless, but nothing can express the humil iat ing slap suffered to one's d igni ty and in te l l i gence for being poor in a f f luent North America. A poor and homeless person may never have enough money, but he 'breaks the house' every time when i t comes to f rus t ra t ions . [Frustrat ion] hovers around you l i k e a cloud of enraged hornets and fol lows you into the hostel where you're assigned a bed among a group of people, some of whom constant ly snore, break wind, f i gh t , argue, and who smell ho r r ib l y . You f i n a l l y throw your arms in the a i r and explode when the fo l lowing morning at breakfast you are seated across from someone who i s n ' t capable of keeping the contents of h is nose from running into his moustache and who scratches himself because he has l i c e . I t ' s when you catch someone e l s e ' s l i c e , even though you keep yoursel f cleaner than any micro-chip plant in S i l i cone Va l ley , that your f rus t ra t ion turns to rage. This i s when an ominous metamorphosis begins: then you feel as though you have broken the 'sane ba r r i e r 1 and l e f t sanity behind.(1) The inquest begins today in Toronto into the death of a homeless woman, who died of the cold in December while sleeping in the back of an abandoned t ruck. The expectation in some quarters i s that the jury w i l l recommend that Toronto es tab l ish more hostels for women. 43 I f t h i s happens, i t w i l l be l i k e cavalry gal loping out to do bat t le against machine guns; the generals w i l l be exact ly one war l a t e . . . M o r e hos te l s would be a band-aid solut ion and, in the long run, as counter-productive for the homeless as food banks are for the hungry. The founding p r i n c i p l e of emergency shel ters for women...was that a l im i ted two-week stay would be su f f i c i en t for the s ta f f and woman-in-crisis to f ind legal ass is tance, medical serv ices , f inanc ia l support, housing or whatever e lse she needed. The premise worked well un t i l a few years ago, when cheap housing a l l but disappeared from the major c i t i e s . The resu l t i s a Dickensian stream of women going from one hoste l to another unt i l they give up in discouragement and die in t rucks. The hostels have become revolving doors for women with psych ia t r ic problems, women t ry ing to deal with alcohol or drug add ic t ion , women jus t out of p r ison , jobless women with poor s k i l l s and the look of neediness that employers shun, women who do a l i t t l e p ros t i tu t ion when desperate, women so numbed by adversity that they have retreated inside themselves to hide, women who are i l l , women whose fami l ies don't want them, women who don't want the i r f am i l i es , women with broken bones and smashed faces who have f led abusive men, and mothers searching the want ads while the i r high-strung chi ldren dart about craving a t ten t ion , craving s t a b i l i t y . They are c i t i zens of the i n v i s i b l e hal f world that stretches across th is a f f luent country, the i r ex i s tence one of ch ron ic hunger, h u m i l i a t i o n , constant danger from predators and ent i re days spent in a search for a warm place to sleep that night. The limbo in which they wander i s v i s i t e d by the media and embarrassed p o l i t i c i a n s only when one of them dies on the s t reet . (2) I was on the road, with few breaks, from the ear ly summer of 1980 to the beginning of 1983. The geography through which I t rave l led was in the west because th is i s where the t ransients head, in the i r thousands, to escape the prospect of f reezing winters. Nearly 80% of Canada's food banks are in the three most westerly provinces. But Last in Line i s a national story. The j ob less , homeless men and women I t rave l led with were from a l l parts of the country. The number of homeless people in Toronto alone has been estimated at for ty thousand. Most of the people I wr i te about are not tramps and bums but men whose s k i l l s we no longer think we need. When a man steps outside the world he knows, as I d i d , or i s forced out, as most of my fe l low t rave l l e rs were, i t i s as i f he has dropped off the world. I t i s happening to men and women from many walks of l i f e . Normalcy, where I went, i s a state of s iege. The abyss where men and women with no homes or steady jobs f ind themselves i s nothing less than a slaughterhouse. Vancouver. Ten beggars to the block. The metropol is. In s ta le rooms, amid bladdery pods of dr ied blood, are men with every known d i s a b i l i t y . Vict ims of kni fe f ights and f i sh ing boat accidents, men whose lungs have been col lapsed and whose brains have been scrambled, men with glass eyes and p las t i c legs , men with broken hearts, addicts - the ha l t , the lame, the b l i n d , the j ob less . They wash down out of the engine of a labouring world to these rooms, l i k e t a i l i n g s from a mine. This i s the s ink. A garbage dump for humans. Nature's revenge. Skid row. 44 Hastings Street feeds off i t s own misery. The su l l en , bu l ly ing wai ters , the t imid nov i t ia te a i r of the slummers, the po l ice pa t ro ls , the chairwarmers in hotel lobb ies , the prur ient socia l workers t ry ing to squeeze from a l l of th is an essence with which they are comfortable, which can be explained. And the p a t h e t i c walkabouts by p o l i t i c i a n s and press - people from another planet- when yet another household-cleaning product i s dramatical ly exposed as a popular in tox icant . "What do they think goes on down here," one guy asks, "polo?" Many of the men of skid row now were good workers, recently l a i d o f f . I n i t i a l l y , they had brought a confidence that they would be back at work soon; but as time went on with no sign of a r e c a l l , they seemed to develop an incapacity for considering consequences, an undirected reck lessness . As the i r i n i t i a l Cossack mentality toward work disappeared, they became more l i k e s e r f s in t h e i r d r u n k e n n e s s , t h e i r s u s p i c i o n s , t h e i r c r a f t y obsequiousness.(3) While these excerpts are among the more powerful vignettes wri t ten in recent years , they provide only par t ia l ins ight into the s o c i a l , economic and cu l tu ra l d i ve rs i t y of Canada's homeless, and only hint at the array of problems which they encounter da i l y . In the fol lowing pages a descr ip t ive p r o f i l e of the changing composition of the homeless in Canada i s presented to i l l u s t r a t e that the homeless in the 1980's represent a diverse economic and soc ia l c ross-sect ion of Canadian soc iety . They are increasingly l i k e l y to be older women, chi ldren and fam i l i es ; they include the young as well as the e lde r l y ; 'new poor' and the ' t rad i t i ona l poor 1 ; handicapped and the able-bodied; those who have given up and those who are being passed over. Media sou rces , reg iona l ana lyses and observations from f i e l d work in B r i t i s h Columbia, A lber ta , Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec are used to support the argument that the homeless are not a l l deranged, middle-aged a lcoho l ic men or b izarre 'bag l ad ies ' l i v i n g on the st reet by choice and re ject ing assistance. As has been suggested recent ly : Of course the stereotyped image of the homeless does have a basis in r e a l i t y . These homeless are t yp i ca l l y a small proportion who have the leas t resources to survive the economic and soc ia l changes imposed on them by an economic development to which they are surplus. They have reached the f ina l stage of a process of socia l dec l ine, a react ion to unemployment, poverty and personal c r i s e s wi th which they have been 45 unable to cope adequately. They are to the publ ic the most v i s i b l e of the homeless. At the other end of the spectrum however, are the per fect ly ordinary family or ind iv idua ls who have l os t the i r home through inadequate income to pay a mortgage or r e n t , or through domestic breakdown, or perhaps as a resu l t of a land lord 's wish to se l l the property in which they are l i v i n g . This group, by far the majority of those c l a s s i f i e d as homeless, are those who, in a society that gives p r i o r i t y to those whom the economy needs and wants, do not have the s k i l l s or qua l i f i ca t i ons which that society needs jus t now, and through unemployment f ind that they cannot finance the i r own accommodation. (4) OBSERVATIONS FROM FIELD RESEARCH Preparing the 1987 report on the scope and scale of homelessness in Canada for the Canadian delegation to the Uni ted Nat ions Commission on Human Settlements (Habi tat ) , and helping to organize a conference on homelessness in B r i t i s h Columbia provided me with an opportunity to meet and work with homeless ind iv idua ls and people with a professional in terest in homelessness. My experiences have included in teract ion with ' s t ree t youth' and runaways; s ingle-parents l i v i n g on low or f ixed incomes who are experiencing problems on a da i ly basis t ry ing to ensure adequate food, c lo th ing and shel ter for the i r f am i l i es ; mature and e lder ly people l i v i n g in i so la t i on ; (5 ) people with physical and mental d i s a b i l i t i e s for whom basic da i ly survival on f ixed incomes and l imi ted resources i s a constant st ruggle; Native Indians who have moved to the c i t y without fami l i a r support systems; and refugees who have f l ed per i lous condit ions in the i r country of o r ig in but now f ind themselves ad r i f t in an a l ien and sometimes a l ienat ing host environment. The fo l lowing gives some ind icat ion of the heterogeneity among the homeless. B r i t i s h Columbia Transients The t ransients who sleep under the Georgia Street viaduct and the Burrard Street Br idge, in Stanley Park, on the beaches at the Univers i ty Endowment 46 Lands, and in the warehouse d i s t r i c t in the downtown eastside core, range from teenagers who have worked at odd jobs to finance the i r journey across the country, to the older men described in Last in L ine , who prefer the mild cl imate of ' terminal c i t y 1 to the f r i g i d winters in Central or A t l a n t i c Canada. Many of them are 'running from' previous negative experiences (family breakdown, substance abuse, pr ison, unemployment), and others are 'running to 1 what they perceive to be better opportunit ies and the chance of a fresh s ta r t . Their domain i s in part res t r i c ted to those places away from publ ic view where they are to lerated by the po l ice . (6) The people with whom I cont inue to i n t e r a c t are extremely e c l e c t i c , sometimes e c c e n t r i c ind iv idua ls with varied l i f e h is to r ies and problems. What d ist inguishes them for my purpose i s the i r lack of permanent housing, and the i r propensity to chronic homelessness.(7) Hotel and Rooming House Residents There i s now a considerable and growing l i t e ra tu re on the residents in the downtown eastside neighbourhoods of Vancouver who occupy the s ingle room hote ls . They include poor ind iv idua ls and fam i l i es , veterans, refugees and those described as 'hard to house' because of an t i - soc ia l behaviour and p e r s o n a l i t y d i s o r d e r s . Personal observa t ions concerning the range of d i f fe rent circumstances, experiences and problems among these groups i s consistent with the views expressed by people who work in the area or have wr i t ten of the condi t ions.(8) The overwhelming majority of residents (80%), re ly on some form of income ass is tance. Because of a steady decl ine in the ava i lab le stock of low-cost accommodation coupled with the lack of secur i ty of tenure in the rooming houses and hote ls , ev ic t ions and displacement are not uncommon occurrences.(9) The area has developed a reputation for having 47 a high concentration of sub-standard housing, which in terms of s ize and monthly rent make the shel ter costs among the highest in the c i ty . (10) I t has become a receptacle for people who for various reasons are no longer welcome in other communities, and have gravi tated to the area because of the concentration of support services provided. This concentration of services i s not matched by employment opportuni t ies, and people can become trapped within a l i f e s t y l e which r e l i e s heavi ly upon the welfare system. Street Youth Among B . C . ' s homeless are st reet youth, many of whom have run away from home, and many have been forced to leave. Their average age i s around f i f teen. (11) They include both ' f u l l t ime' and 'weekenders' or 'kerb k i d s ' , who return home on Sunday night. Some estimates suggest that there are between 400 - 500 regular street chi ldren in Vancouver, and as many as 200 in V ic to r ia . (12) I t was pa r t i cu la r l y d isturbing to in teract with ind iv idua ls who had barely entered the i r teens but had been l i v i n g , 'working' and s l eep ing on the s t r e e t s for varying lengths of time. Tales of abuse (phys ica l , mental, sexual and drug), p ros t i tu t ion and crime were common, as was the perception that st reet l i f e was exc i t i ng , although th is seemed to a l te r with the length of time spent there. I t was also f rus t ra t ing to hear from some of these young people that they are too old for support services for j uven i les , yet not old enough to qual i fy for adult serv ices ; even i f they seek help to a l t e r the i r l i f e s t y l e , they are caught in a bureaucratic revolving door. Single-Parent Famil ies There were 50,000 s ingle fami l ies in the Lower Mainland in 1986, 90% of which were headed by women.(13) Their r isk of becoming homeless i s re lated 48 par t i cu la r l y to issues of employment, income, poverty and the shortage of affordable and secure rental accommodation which i s su i tab le for ra is ing a f a m i l y . Many are occupying ' i l l e g a l ' basement sui tes in Lower Mainland neighbourhoods. Those who are re l a t i ve l y unsk i l led have d i f f i c u l t y securing employment which generates su f f i c i en t income to pay the costs of day care in addi t ion to the expenditures on food, c loth ing and she l te r . Although in Canada 57% of s ingle women with chi ldren work, in some instances re l iance on wel fare, while often inadequate, i s as remunerative as employment. There i s at leas t one, a lbe i t unintended consequence; the mothers get the sa t i s fac t ion of being with the i r ch i ld ren . Seniors B r i t i s h Columbia has an above average concentration of older people res id ing in urban areas (85% for 65 - 79 ages and 90% for those 80 and above), with 50% of the province's seniors res id ing in the Greater Vancouver Regional D i s t r i c t . ( 14 ) Becoming homeless i s a very real concern among three g r o u p s : m a t u r e , unat tached and economica l l y vu lne rab le i n d i v i d u a l s (predominantly female); low income seniors (par t i cu la r l y ren ters ) ; and those whose health i s f a i l i n g (par t i cu la r l y among those 80 years and beyond). Not a l l seniors can make the i r own choices without ass is tance, but because of a lack of widely ava i l ab le , eas i l y accessib le and inter-connected services in B . C . , those who need help experience d i f f i c u l t y in knowing where to locate and access i t . From experience gained through working with the e lder ly in B.C. since 1977, my sense i s that two i ssues of c r i t i c a l concern r e l a t e to the a f f o rdab i l i t y of appropriate housing for those with low income and l imi ted 49 resources, and the i so la t i on and lonel iness which can occur as people grow older and family t i es weaken. The Mentally 111 People wi th mental hea l th problems have received a disproport ionate amount of at tent ion in recent studies of homelessness, some of which i s predicated on poorly informed views of the mentally i l l . According to a Min is t ry of Health consul tat ion report on a draf t plan to replace Riverview hospital in B r i t i s h Columbia, as many as 100,000 adult and e lder ly persons are a f f l i c t e d with a major mental i l l n e s s at any par t i cu la r t ime, and three times as many have less severe d isorders. (15) While a proportion of these people can cope on the i r own wi th the help of fami ly and f r i e n d s , a s i g n i f i c a n t group requires spec ia l i zed treatment, and follow-up community support serv ices . Two main groups can be i d e n t i f i e d : those with an acute i l l n e s s which requires short term hosp i ta l i sa t ion and outpatient treatment; and those with a chronic i l l n e s s who experience long- las t ing symptoms and d i s a b i l i t i e s , repeated treatment episodes, dependent l i f e s t y l e , and a need for i nde f in i te community support services (diagnoses include schizophrenia, psychosis, organic brain syndrome, and major a f fec t i ve disorders).(16) The report i s s i gn i f i can t in the present context because i t concludes tha t s i gn i f i can t numbers of formerly i ns t i t u t i ona l i sed patients now l i v e in local communities as a r e s u l t of the improvements made in pharmaceut ical techno logy , advances in psycho the rap ies , r e h a b i l i t a t i o n , and pa t i en t management methods, but that "a substant ial shor t fa l l in mental health services ex is ts in B r i t i s h Columbia".(17) The report estimates that 25-30% of outpatient mental health patients can be described as " d i f f i c u l t " and "mult i-system users" . 50 Two groups are pa r t i cu la r l y vulnerable to becoming homeless: young people (ages 18 - 35 are over-represented), who tend to use proport ional ly more serv ices , often in a revolving-door fashion: "often they have had l i t t l e or no h o s p i t a l i z a t i o n , are non-compl iant wi th t r a d i t i o n a l o f f i c e - b a s e d treatment, have few personal care, socia l or job s k i l l s , and among whom substance abuse i s o f ten an exacerba t ing prob lem" ; and f r a g i l e and vulnerable e lder ly who, because of the i r i s o l a t i o n , may not seek help: "when they do get help, there i s a complicated interplay between physical i l l n e s s , brain dysfunct ion, and psychological condit ions which make accurate diagnoses and e f fec t i ve treatment extremely chal lenging".(18) Outreach workers in Vancouver and V i c to r i a who are responding to problems faced by mentally i l l people l i v i n g in the community suggest tha t there i s a shortage of appropr ia te homes f o r them and as a r e s u l t , many l i v e in inadequate condi t ions. At present organizations such as the Coast Foundation, St . James Social Service Soc ie ty , Cool-Aid Society , the Community Care Teams and the Urban Core Homeless Committee are involved in i d e n t i f y i n g the homeless menta l l y i l l and f i n d i n g ways to connect them to appropriate community support serv ices.(19) The range of groups out l ined above i s su f f i c i en t to allow two general observations. F i r s t , the homeless in B r i t i s h Columbia are not res t r i c ted to one par t i cu la r category or sub-group. The previous vignettes could have been expanded to inc lude: urban nat ives; refugees; people who have been unemployed for extended periods of t ime; those who are vulnerable because they can only secure temporary or part-t ime employment; groups other than the mentally i l l who are unemployable; those whose fu l l - t ime employment does not pay enough f o r them to meet t h e i r bas i c needs. However, as w i l l be demonstrated, 51 considerable correspondence ex is ts between the var iety of homeless groups in B r i t i s h Columbia and other regions of the country. Secondly, although they have widely varying backgrounds, experiences and problems, two broad categories among the homeless can be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d . There are those (par t i cu la r l y among the older t rans ients , youth and mentally i l l groups), who are homeless in the sense that they l i v e on the streets or re ly upon the emergency shel ter system for prolonged periods of time. They correspond to the "absolute" c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of the homeless employed by the U.N. Commission on Human Settlements. Others among the e lde r l y , s ing le -parents, s ingle room hotel occupants and the mentally i l l , correspond more c lose ly to the U.N. 's de f in i t i on of people "at r i s k " of becoming homeless because of the i r tenuous l i v i n g and housing condi t ions. Alberta The Edmonton C o a l i t i o n on Homelessness (ECOH), examined the scope of homelessness in the Edmonton CMA between November 1986 and February 1987. Their study, based on a comprehensive l i t e ra tu re review, a survey of support agencies and interviews with professionals and homeless people, concluded that the homeless in Edmonton could be divided into four broad groups, each of which include ch ron ica l l y , pe r iod ica l l y and temporarily homeless people: 1. The "absolute" homeless — persons who have no housing a l ternat ives and l i t t l e or no income; 2. "Substandard un i t d w e l l e r s " - - low-income persons who l i v e in accommodation tha t does not meet bas i c phys i ca l standards of s a f e t y , san i ta t i on , maintenance, pr ivacy, access, adequacy and/or a f f o r d a b i l i t y ; 3. "The sheltered homeless" - - low-income persons l i v i n g in emergency or t rans i t i ona l accommodation; and 4. "The a l i e n a t e d homeless" - - low income persons l i v i n g outside emergency or t rans i t iona l accommodation with l i t t l e or no soc ia l or health support network needed to maintain the i r housing.(20) 52 Twenty years ago, homelessness in Edmonton was a concept usual ly only associated with the Boyle Street community, the "sk id row" area which housed the Salvat ion Army hostel and the s ingle men's hos te l . I t was the home for t ransient labour moving between Edmonton, the northern industr ies or the agr icu l tu ra l communities. The period of rapid economic prosperi ty resul ted in an increase in t ransient labour with a corresponding increase in shel ter beds. At the time the survey was taken in 1986/87 however, nine "general c l i e n t group c a t e g o r i e s " among Edmonton's homeless p o p u l a t i o n were i d e n t i f i e d : 1. Single unemployable/employable men and women/ low income fam i l i es ; 2. A lcoho l ics and those in trouble with drugs; 3. E lde r l y ; 4. Persons with psychia t r ic h i s t o r i e s ; 5. Immigrants; 6. Native Canadians; 7. Youth; 8. Disabled; 9. Ex-offenders. I t i s important to note that even among the "shel tered" category, less than a th i rd of the homeless in Edmonton today can be c l a s s i f i e d under the t rad i t iona l perception of the 'homeless' as mainly s ing le , middle-aged males who are unemployable.(21) Al though the Edmonton survey recognised the d i f f i c u l t i e s inherent in es tab l ish ing r e l i a b l e estimates of the four broad categories of homeless, the report suggests that between 785 and 1,570 people are absolutely homeless in the census metropolitan area.(22) Using 1981 census data, a conservative estimate of the "substandard unit dwel lers" indicated that 10,680 pr ivate dwell ings were in need of major repair in Edmonton. (23) From a survey of emergency and t rans i t iona l she l te rs , 1500 people were estimated to be among the "shel tered homeless" during an average month.(24) No data were provided on the "a l ienated" homeless. 53 Manitoba We don't have the nouveau poor. Winnipeg doesn't get caught in the boom-bust cyc le . We're always in the bust cyc le . Many of the people in the soup kitchen are veterans of skid row. But others are s t i l l in the prime of the i r youth.(25) L i k e many other major c i t i e s , Winnipeg i s experiencing an increasing presence of homeless people. The c i t y has a shortage of affordable housing fo r people on low or f i x e d incomes, and there i s a s ign i f i can t native populat ion, many of whom have d i f f i c u l t y ass imi la t ing into the preva i l ing white soc ie ty . Their d i f f i c u l t i e s are often marked by an absence of stable past residency.(26) Many marginally funct ioning and chron ica l ly homeless ind iv idua ls in the c i t y core re ly heavi ly on socia l services because the i r behaviour i s such that they have exhausted the other op t ions . They go through the revo lv ing door of wel fare, cour ts , cr iminal j u s t i c e , health care, and alcohol treatment systems. Since few landlords w i l l keep these ind iv idua ls for any length of time, and many are barred from the Salvat ion Army h o s t e l , t h e i r a l t e r n a t i v e s are to s leep in the a l l e y s , on the r iverbanks, in empty bu i ld ings , bus she l te rs , laundry rooms or at the Main Street Project emergency she l te r . The few re fe rence sources which ex is t are l im i ted to surveys of the c i t y ' s sk id row area, and in par t i cu la r to those who frequently use the Main S t r e e t P r o j e c t , which prov ides c r i s i s in te rvent ion , emergency re fer ra l serv ices , s t reet pa t r o l , emergency she l te r , in toxicated persons holding area, sub-acute de tox i f i ca t ion centre, case management and assessment un i t , and a day treatment program in the heart of the c i t y ' s s k i d row a rea . (27) Ch r i s t ophe r Hauch's ethnographic study of Winnipeg's skid row area, and Richard Brundridge's contr ibut ion to an evaluation of the Main Street 54 Pro jec t , both point to cer ta in general charac te r i s t i cs among th is par t i cu la r subset of Winnipeg's homeless populat ion. Hauch reviewed records of the c l i en te l e frequenting the Main Street Project between 1975 and 1979, ind icat ing that in each of these y e a r s , approximately 3500 ind iv idua ls used the services provided. While a cer ta in number used the project once or twice, there were about 2000 regu la rs (averaging 8.5 contacts annual ly) . According to Hauch's est imat ion, about 72% of the regulars were Native (treaty and non-treaty) , 26% were Caucasian, most were middle-aged males with few marketable s k i l l s , and a l l were l i v i n g in poverty.(28) The 1986 review of the c l i en t s who frequently use the Main Street Project recorded the fo l lowing information: 1. Most c l i e n t s are male (79%), and under age 45 (75%). The average age of the hostel population i s 37 years. Persons of nat ive and non-nat ive ancestry each comprised one-half of the populat ion. C l ien ts were re l a t i ve l y younger than Winnipeg's population aged 18 years-p lus , and more frequently of native ancestry than the c i t y ' s population;(29) 2. Almost a l l c l i e n t s have been dependent on some form of p u b l i c assistance and, as a group, have had very high leve ls of unemployment or underemployment; 3 . A high degree of mobi l i ty wi thin Winnipeg has marked the hostel population - nearly 75% of c l i en t s experienced two or more address changes in the twelve months pr ior to the i r most recent admission; about 10% have been mobile between Winnipeg and other parts of Manitoba, and 17% between the c i t y and other parts of Canada; 4. Nearly 75% had been assessed as frequent abusers of a l coho l ; 5. Among sub-populations, females, persons under age 25, c l i e n t s of native ancestry, and those assessed to require some assistance in terms of 'mental a b i l i t y 1 tended to be more disadvantaged and more l i k e l y to deviate from the average fo r a l l c l i e n t s in terms of residence and assessment cha rac te r i s t i c s . Brundridge, and s ta f f at the Main Street Pro jec t , suggest that the ' t y p i c a l ' c l i e n t of the project i s : 55 Male , n a t i v e , between 18 and 33 years of age, educational attainment between grades 7 and 12, an unsk i l led worker, who i s now and for at least the past twelve months has been unemployed. He has given up the search for work, and subsists for the present on socia l ass is tance. He i s l i k e l y to be l i v i n g alone in Winnipeg, and has a history of moving about wi thin the c i t y . I t i s l i k e l y he w i l l spend between 2 and 6 weeks at the hostel th is admission.(30) Ontario The majority of those categorised as homeless are spa t i a l l y concentrated in Toronto and Ottawa, although having reviewed media sources and the proceedings of a ser ies of regional conferences undertaken throughout 1987, i t i s evident that the problem i s not confined to these two c i t i e s . ( 31 ) The problem in the out ly ing munic ipa l i t ies i s less apparent, and the homeless are less v i s i b l e . Battered women are staying with abusive mates, or returning to them from shel ters or refuge with f r iends , because they cannot f ind affordable accommodation. People are subject to the s t ra ins of l i v i n g 'doubled up' - two fami l ies in a space meant for one. For example, Metro Toronto Housing Authori ty estimates that 25,000 are l i v i n g i l l e g a l l y with the 100,000 legal tenants in the 32,000 subsidized units which the Authori ty oversees. Among the many repor ts on homelessness in Ontario, the overwhelming majority argue that the lack of af fordable housing i s the s i n g l e most i m p o r t a n t p r e c i p i t a n t . H i s t o r i c a l l y , Toronto and Ottawa have had i den t i f i ab l e populations of inner-core t r a n s i e n t s , ch ron ic and e p i s o d i c homeless people. Their composition and problems are s im i la r to those of people in sk id rows in other parts of the country, and are described in deta i l la ter . (32) However, evidence from studies conducted pr io r to and during the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless suggests that in a d d i t i o n to these t r a d i t i o n a l l y poor and soc ia l l y marginalised groups, 56 i n c r e a s i n g numbers of f a m i l i e s (two- and espec ia l ly single-parent) and employable s ingles (par t i cu la r l y younger people), are becoming homeless and remaining so for longer periods than in previous decades. The media in recent months have highl ighted the p l igh t of fami l ies who have been reduced to sleeping in tents in Ontar io, because they cannot obtain decent and affordable housing: Campgrounds in and around Toronto have become makeshift shantytowns in a prospering, job - r i ch soc iety . Their residents are part of a new group-the working homeless. The new-style bedroom community presents a v i v i d picture of the gap between r i ch and poor, and i l l u s t r a t e s the extreme shortage of rental accommodation in the greater metro a r e a . . . In Metro, the vacancy rate i s 0.4%, which means that 426 units out of 262,860 are ava i lab le at any one time to prospective tenants. In Mississauga, the vacancy rate i s 0.2%, giv ing 51 units a v a i l a b l e out of 30 ,251. In Brampton, the rate of 0.3% gives 13 units out of 9,425. The Census Metropolitan Area has an average rent of $987 for vacant 2-bedroom un i ts . In the most recent census, there were 502 units reported ava i lab le out of 314,198.(33) There has been considerable coverage of the p l igh t of s ingle mothers reduced to placing the i r ch i ldren in custody because they are unable to provide food, c lo th ing and shel ter for them: Desperation had set in when Heather Walker dropped her two g i r l s of f at the Toronto Chi ld ren 's Aid Society l a s t week, and then booked hersel f into St Michael 's Hospital for psych ia t r ic help. The 30-year old s ingle mother says she i s mental ly, emotional ly, and phys ica l ly exhausted from t ry ing to f ind decent l i v i n g quarters and at the same time, ra ise her two chi ldren in a slum in the west end. 'I j us t couldn ' t take i t any more. Leaving those kids was the hardest thing I've ever done. . . My l i t t l e one thinks I deserted her, but what else could I do? I had nowhere to turn and I wou ldn ' t . . . couldn ' t take them back to that room.. ' The room she refers to i s the apartment she rents for $400 a month - a room 2 meters x 4.2 meters (7 feet x 14 fee t ) , so small that the only furn i ture in i t i s a small dresser, a chair and two end tab les . The three sleep on the f l oo r . 'Whether you' re in beds or on the f l o o r , the bugs s t i l l crawl a l l over you. I t ' s so hard to sleep when you have cockroaches a l l over you, and i t ' s even worse when you have to s i t there and watch them crawling a l l over your own k ids . ' (34 ) 57 The emergency she l te rs , hostels and t rans i t iona l houses ( including group homes, safe houses fo r ba t te red women, and hal f -way houses fo r the de ins t i t u t i ona l i sed , e t c ) , are operating at or c lose to capacity and are funct ioning less as short-term f a c i l i t i e s for people in c r i s i s , the purpose for which they were o r i g i n a l l y intended. As the cost of housing continues to r i se and the stock of affordable accommodation dec l ines , more and varied groups are los ing the i r already tenuous grip on secur i ty and s t a b i l i t y . For example, i t i s estimated that the number of households on wait ing l i s t s for ass is ted housing i s current ly more than 30,000. In Metro Toronto alone, i t i s estimated that between 10,000 and 20,000 fami l ies are without adequate she l te r , a th i rd of whom are between the ages of 18 and 24: Their s to r ies of despair and hopelessness seem st ra ight out of Charles D ickens ' 19th century England, yet in 20th century, booming, 'world c l a s s ' Metro, such misery i s common. They a r e , fo r a l l i n t e n t s and purposes the modern homeless, vict ims - along with the i r ch i ldren - of Toronto's conversion to yuppie heaven. They are not yet s t reet people. But they are gett ing toward the edge as they camp out with fr iends or r e l a t i v e s , at hostels or wherever they can f i n d a roo f . While the housing shortage in Metro i s nothing new, i t s e f fec t on chi ldren has been increasingly noted by socia l service workers.(35) S imi la r images can be found in Ottawa, where the poor have t r ad i t i ona l l y occupied the area adjacent to the Byward Market, and the sprawling publ ic housing developments: We've a l l seen them - the ragged people who wander around shopping p lazas, f i s h through garbage bins and sleep on park benches, they are ca l l ed d e r e l i c t s , rubbies, and winos, and they have been around since people f i r s t congregated in c i t i e s . But jo in ing them in the hostels and food l i nes these days i s a new and growing breed of homeless - younger men and women whose survival depends almost e n t i r e l y on the goodwi l l of o t h e r s . They're being haunted by twin demons - a lack of emergency housing and jobs - and they can ' t get of f the t readmi l l . Homes for the Homeless, an organization formed recently to focus attent ion on the p l igh t of the homeless and push for emergency shel ters and affordable housing, estimates that there are at leas t 800 homeless in the Ottawa area. A l l who work to help them say unemployment, lack of job s k i l l s , and a shortage of decent , a f f o r d a b l e housing contr ibute to the i r p l i gh t , and the i r problem i s gett ing worse.(36) 58 In a week-long ser ies of a r t i c l e s published by the Ottawa C i t i zen in June 1987, the fo l lowing p ro f i l e of poverty in the Ottawa-Carleton region was presented: * In March 1976, there were 3,060 general welfare cases. In February 1987, the f igure was 12,188. * In 1976, fewer than one quarter of the people receiv ing welfare were considered able-bodied; now more than 70% are employable but can ' t or won't f ind work. * A decade ago, soup kitchens were a dim memory of the depression. Today, amid our conspicuous af f luence, there are at leas t a dozen. * Once the e lder ly and the unemployable dominated the welfare r o l l s , but a decade of swi f t soc ia l and economic change have created a new c lass of underpr i v i lege ; s ingle mothers, ex-psych ia t r ic pat ients and people under-educated for an increasingly high-tech world. * In ten shor t y e a r s , the rapid decl ine in b lue -co l l a r labour has transformed Ottawa-Carleton's welfare caseload. * Every night up to 1,000 people have no bed of the i r own. There are two parts to the housing c r i s i s . One has to do with the homeless and the decl ine in accommodation for them; the other deals with the increasing lack of affordable shel ter for people who otherwise have some order in t h e i r l i ves . (37) The preceding descr ipt ion i l l u s t r a t e s the d ive rs i t y among the homeless in Ontar io, but does not, and indeed cannot adequately re f l ec t the s o c i a l , p s y c h o l o g i c a l , emotional and economic devastation associated with being unable to l i v e in a safe, decent and affordable home. Quebec The in fo rmat ion about the homeless in Quebec i s disproport ionately concentrated on the two largest c i t i e s , Montreal and Quebec C i t y . Montreal i s reputed to have the l a r g e s t homeless population outside of Toronto (estimated between 10,000 and 30,000). The poor are being squeezed out of the downtown rooming houses which had sheltered them for generations. The expansive and expensive gen t r i f i ca t ion of the inner c i t y has resul ted 59 in a dras t ic reduction in the rooming-house stock. The number of rooms went from 15,972 in 1977 to 10,779 in 1982, a drop of 33 percent in the space of f i ve years . The impact was greatest in the downtown area where rooming houses have given way to boutiques, businesses, o f f i c e s , and h igh-pr iced apartments. But as the fol lowing excerpt shows, the homeless are not confined to the ' roomers' : When we think of the homeless in Quebec, we immediately think of those whose main d i f f i c u l t y in f ind ing a place to l i v e i s due to the i r lack of income. We th ink, among others, of the s ingle people whose major source of income comes from welfare assistance and guaranteed income programs. This i s often the case with old people, the majority of whom l i v e beneath the poverty l e v e l . We also think of the p h y s i c a l l y d i sab led whose l im i ted autonomy, coupled with a lack of income, exacerbates the i r housing problems. We also think of young people on welfare who have been unable to f i n d work because of the recent recession. We think of the ex-inmates and the people suf fer ing from mental or physical i l l nesses who return to the community a f ter having spent time in an i n s t i t u t i o n . And f i n a l l y , we think of the roomers, whose p ro f i l e looks more often l i k e that of the dest i tu te and the impoverished.(38) The International Year of Shelter for the Homeless has been a s i gn i f i can t ca ta lys t for ra i s ing awareness in Quebec of the precarious s i tua t ion faced by women (par t i cu la r l y female-headed single-parent f a m i l i e s ) , for whom there i s a recognised dearth of emergency and t rans i t iona l she l te r ; and young, s ing le , employable i nd i v idua l s , who receive $180 in socia l assistance per month. For many young people i t i s a 'Catch 22' s i t ua t i on : no f ixed address, no welfare cheque; no rent money, no home. Each night in Montreal an estimated 5,000 youth sleep in the Metro, bus s ta t ions , or in furnace rooms of apartment bui ld ings.(39) There i s growing r e c o g n i t i o n that women are sleeping out in the open, in places such as Atwater Park, in apartment house lobb ies, and in boarded-up bu i ld ings: On ne connait ni l 'age de cette femme, ni son nom, ni son h i s t o i r e . E l l e v i t et dort dans un esca l i e r pres du Forum. E l l e se n o u r r i t de l a co l lec te des poubelees. Durant les grands f ro ids de Janv ie r , e l l e se refuge dans les entrees de Metro ou immeubles. Le phenomene de sans-60 a b r i , trop souvent discute abstraitement en termes de s ta t i s t ! ques , de pourcentage et de changements demographiques, c ' es t aussi le sort d'une femme, d'un homme ou d'un adolescent qui lu t te pour suv ie, i c i meme, dans les rues de Montreal.(40) The d i rec tor of a placement centre for indigent women who led a task force enquiry into homelessness in Montreal in 1987, estimates that more than 3,000 women are l i v i n g per i lous ly in Montreal at any given time. The task force considered the homeless in Montreal to be a group of people with serious housing problems whose s i tua t ion i s exacerbated by mental health problems, inadequate incomes, and, e s p e c i a l l y f o r women, p u b l i c a t t i t u d e s of st igmat izat ion and v i c t im iza t i on : P lus ie rs groupes composent les sans-abr i . En e f f e t , des causes mult ip les et des phenomenes complexes ont conduit des m i l l i e r s de personnes a l ' e t a t de sans-abr i . Main on peut aff i rmer que personne ne nai t sans-abr i , a tout l e moins, hors de tout reseau fami l i a l et soc ia l . (41) The A t lan t i c Provinces Stark as a f i e l d of snow, the pattern of Wayne Jobson's l i f e i s f ixed and unremitt ing: by day a search for food, and by night a quest for warmth. At 37, Mr. Jobson has been "on the st reet" since 1976. The events that put him here are phantasmagoric, the half-remembered history of another l i f e t i m e . But there i s no sanctuary from the here and now for the Sydney native - pa r t i cu la r l y when a gale whist les through the streets and the temperature dips below zero. "You know, I think I upset them because I'm dressed kind of ragged. But i f I'm crawling through a gutter t ry ing to stab something with a fork , they should rea l i ze i t a l l connects, that we're a l l part of the same th ing. The men w i l l acknowledge me, they somehow re la te to me, but the women don't even want to see me. I t was d i f fe ren t in Montreal. There, everyone seemed to understand that there were people l i k e me.(42) The homeless in A t l a n t i c Canada share many of the cha rac te r i s t i c s described so fa r . Poverty and unemployment are perennia l , i f not endemic to the four provinces, and as was revealed in a recent conference on women and housing held in Ha l i fax , housing for the majority of women in A t lan t i c Canada i s too scarce, too expensive and provides l i t t l e or nothing in the way of amenities or choice of accommodation. (43) In October 1985, a broadly-based 61 coa l i t i on of community groups ca l led "housing for people c o a l i t i o n " , produced an Emergency Declarat ion to h igh l ight the growing c r i s i s in the a v a i l a b i l i t y of affordable housing in Ha l i fax . A group of angry mothers in Hal i fax have no trouble def in ing adequate shel ter or affordable housing. They represent heads of one-parent f am i l i es , part of the growing numbers of Canadians jo in ing the welfare c lass from the middle c l a s s . "No, I suppose I d idn ' t think when I was married, when my husband and I l i ved in a rea l l y nice house, that things would be l i k e t h i s . . . When you're t ry ing to f ind a p lace , they t e l l you,'we don't accept socia l assistance people ' , or 'we're t ry ing to hold down the chi ldren population here, we only want two k ids in a three bedroom apartment.' And I say, ' look, I've got three k ids , what do you want me to do, shoot one?'(44) Rel iab le data on the extent of homelessness in A t lan t i c Canada, and the d ivers i t y among the homeless have proven extremely d i f f i c u l t to f i n d . Requests have been made on several occasions to provinc ia l housing min is t r ies and corporat ions, and to front l i ne advocates, mostly with l i t t l e success. However, as the f i na l quotation from a cross-country survey ind ica tes , there i s l i t t l e reason to suspect that the eastern provinces are immune from the problems evident in the other j u r i s d i c t i o n s : Whatever e lse may unify a nation of such disparate pieces as th is one, i t i s c lear from a journey across the country that the poor have no regional boundaries. They occupy one country, poverty, and wherever they may happen to l i v e , whatever t h e i r age or the language they speak, the s i m i l a r i t i e s in the i r skewed l i ves unite them and make them one country, i nd i v i s i b l e . (45 ) A CLASSIFICATION OF THE HOMELESS IN CANADA The term 'homeless' has been appl ied to so many d i f ferent types of people that i t has become an abstract ion which i s of l imi ted value as an accurate d e f i n i t i o n . As Peter Marin has suggested, " i t has become a catch basin to describe a l l of the people who have been disenfranchised, marginalised or scared of f by processes beyond the i r contro l " . (46) 62 Two general tendencies can be observed in Canada: ( i ) approaches which l i m i t the focus to those who occupy the bottom two ' t i e r s ' of the shel ter system in Canada - the s t ree ts , and emergency shel ters or temporary housing.(47) ( i i ) approaches which broaden the de f in i t i on to include those whose vu lne rab i l i t y places them at r i sk of los ing the i r homes.(48) This ambiguity about who should be included among the homeless i s re lated in part to the absence of r e l i ab l e empirical est imates, but also to the fact that the most common reference sources, pa r t i cu la r l y from the media, use many d i f fe rent labe ls and ident i fy widely d i f f e r i ng sub-groups. While at one level th is supports the thesis that the homeless const i tu te a wide spectrum of Canadian soc ie ty , but i t also h ighl ights the lack of c l a r i t y surrounding th is issue. The contents of more than two hundred a r t i c l e s , reports and broadcasts by loca l and national media were reviewed to i den t i f y d e s c r i p t i o n s of the homeless in Canada. The data were compiled from a ser ies of l i b ra ry searches and c l ipp ings f i l e s supp l i ed by the in fo rmat ion d i v i s i o n s of UNCHS(Habitat) in Toronto and New York; from the IYSH Secretar ia ts in Ontario and Quebec and other provinc ia l focal po in ts ; and from personal reference sources. Between 1985 and 1988, at least t h i r t y d i f fe rent synonyms wereused on more than one occasion to describe Canada's homeless. (Table 1) 63 Table 1 Media descr ipt ions of the 'homeless' 1. I l l -housed/ lack adequate shel ter 2. Hostel dweller 3. Slum-dwellers 4. Roofless/houseless 5. Squatters 6. Roomers', boarders and lodgers 7. Shopping bag lad ies 8. Single older men on welfare 9. Veterans 10. Native indians 11. Unemployed/unemployable 12. Working poor/new poor 13. Low-income singles 14. Victims of economic recession 15. A new c lass of underprivi lege 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29. 30. A scraping-by c lass/underc lass Hard to house Evicted fami l ies Throwaways/runaways Mentally i l l / e x - p s y c h i a t r i c Anxious seniors Poor famil ies/needy Battered wives Abused/abandoned women Refugees Victims of gen t r i f i ca t i on Soc ie ty 's cas t -o f fs Street people /dere l ic ts Vagrants/desti tute Dr i f t e rs / t rans ien ts I t can be seen from the table that the d i s t i nc t i on between the composition of the homeless and the reasons why they become homeless i s often obscured. In February 1987, the nat ional ly syndicated news magazine Maclean's, ran a ten page cover story using reports f i l e d by twelve repo r te rs and seven photographers, in which the homeless were described as members of a sub-population which i s both changing and growing: [There] i s ev idence tha t converg ing economic and soc ia l forces are producing new classes of homeless peop le . . . inc lud ing d isaf fected young people, psych ia t r ic outpat ients, s ingle mothers, the unemployed or the poor ly pa id - and others shut out by the s teep c o s t s of c i t y hous ing . . .They su rv i ve in ways tha t would not be possible for many people.(49) The disturb ing nature of homelessness does not permit i t to be ignored, but at the same time, i t ra ises questions as to how the issue i s handled when i t i s covered . (50) The media have p layed a s i g n i f i c a n t ro le in shaping perceptions about the homeless, and inf luencing the agenda of issues being d i scussed which r e l a t e to homelessness. They prov ide at l eas t some 64 i nd ica t ion of the d is t r ibu t ion of the homeless in Canada's urban centres, and are a counterpoint to romanticised images of the "carefree wanderer". I t i s also common however, for homelessness to be u n c r i t i c a l l y equated with poverty, and for the homeless to be portrayed as be long ing to an underclass or residual component of soc ie ty . Despite the widespread media a t ten t ion , the bulk of the coverage focusses on the homeless as a special human in te res t s tory , not as an issue of publ ic po l i cy , and consequently, only passing reference i s made to the causes of homelessness. The problem with th is approach i s that one cannot understand the causes of homelessness simply by examining the homeless, unless one accepts the argument that they bring i t upon themselves.(51) The super f i c ia l coverage of the causes of homelessness i s also in part a re f l ec t i on of the s imp l i s t i c statements made by some advocates of the homeless when they are i n t e r v i e w e d , and i s ind ica t ive of the lack of cohesion among advocates and special in terest groups. The c o m p l e x i t i e s involved in the issue are not being presented in a way that probes the roots of homelessness, and there i s l i t t l e meaningful dialogue with the homeless. The i r s i t u a t i o n tends to be considered newsworthy i f i t i s s u f f i c i e n t l y sensational or heart rending to capture the a t t e n t i o n of an audience instantaneously. This method of report ing eschews in-depth ana lys is . Despite the l im i ta t ions inherent in the data sources used to th is point , they do provide at least some ins ight into the range of homeless groups in Canada. I t i s suggested here that the composition of Canada's homeless include some parts of the fol lowing groups: 65 POOR FAMILIES SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES EMERGENCY SHELTER RESIDENTS ROOMING HOUSE AND SRO RESIDENTS TRANSIENTS SUBSTANCE ABUSERS UNEMPLOYED/UNDEREMPLOYED MENTALLY ILL/DISABLED POOR SINGLES ELDERLY YOUTH URBAN NATIVES The fo l lowing observations can be made from the preceding d iscuss ion. There are people who, for various reasons, are inadequately housed. They include those who are l i t e r a l l y without she l te r , those who are sheltered but not housed, those who are housed but lack a home, and people who are at r i sk of becoming homeless because of the i r housing problems. While housing i s an important dimension of homelessness in Canada, uneven economic development has produced regional var ia t ions in the incidence of pover t y , unemployment, underemployment, low income and rates of socia l ass is tance, placing many people on the economic margins of soc ie ty . There are also those among the homeless in Canada whose mental, physical or soc ia l health l im i t s the i r a b i l i t y to sustain independent par t i c ipa t ion wi thin mainstream society . This i s pa r t i cu la r l y evident among the mentally i l l and service-dependent who have become soc ia l l y marginal ised. Although any one of these housing, economic or socia l condit ions can have a devastating e f fec t on the homeless, they are more often in te r - re la ted and compounded as the fol lowing matrix shows. While perhaps general ised, the mat r ix i l l u s t r a t e s the synergy of the condi t ions rather than mutually exclusive categor ies. The fo l lowing examples i l l u s t r a t e one way of in terpret ing the matr ix. As a resu l t of the i r economic circumstances, the majority of the groups i den t i f i ed are vulnerable to becoming homeless. However, in a number of cases, (e .g. among poor f am i l i es , s ingle-parents and poor s i n g l e s ) , t h i s 66 economic i n s e c u r i t y a l s o has a b e a r i n g on t h e i r h o u s i n g o p t i o n s . I t can a l s o t r i g g e r r e l a t e d s o c i a l problems ( i n d i c a t e d by 0*), but t h e s e are g e n e r a l l y s econdary t o , o r c o n t i n g e n t l y r e l a t e d t o the main economic and h o u s i n g p r e -c o n d i t i o n s . 67 The Synergy of Conditions Influencing the Composition of Canada's Homeless ECONOMIC SOCIAL HOUSING CONDITIONS PROBLEMS PROBLEMS POOR FAMILIES X 0* X SINGLE-PARENTS X 0* X POOR SINGLES X 0* X ELDERLY X O X * O X * YOUTH X O X * O X * TRANSIENTS 0 X 0 SUBSTANCE ABUSERS 0 X 0 SHELTER RESIDS. X X* X SRO/ROOMING HOUSE X O X * X* URBAN NATIVES X X* X* DISABLED (MENT/PHYS) 0 X X * MENTALLY ILL 0 X X * UNEMPLOYED X 0* O X * UNDEREMPLOYED X 0* O X * X = Major Problem 0 = Secondary But Related Problem * = Appl icable to spec i f i c sub-groups. 68 In the case of the t ransient or substance abuse groups, soc ia l problems (here broadly defined to include personal, inter-personal as well as health concerns), are usual ly the main pre-condit ions which t r igger homelessness. From th is perspect ive, therefore, economic and housing problems, wh i le undeniably important, are secondary. I t i s recognised that the matrix as presented i s embryonic, and w i l l benef i t from further modif icat ion and e laborat ion. For the present i t serves as an a l t e r n a t i v e , a l b e i t rud imentary , to what at times appear to be arb i t ra ry c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s of the homeless. THE HOMELESS IN CONTEXT Ins igh ts gained from personal in teract ion with a var iety of homeless people, advocates and professionals across the country, and a wide range of descr ip t ive material from secondary sources serve to i l l u s t r a t e three re lated points : * The homeless in Canada are not a homogeneous group of deranged soc ia l m i s f i t s . The broad range of categories and labels used to describe various sub-sets of the homeless population i s ind ica t ive that they const i tu te a broad cross sect ion of soc ie ty . * The ava i lab le evidence suggests that the homeless are predominantly concentrated in the urban centres, and that they are evident to vary ing degrees in the majority of the provinces. At present however, there i s no r e l i a b l e estimate of the i r numbers nat ional ly or in any spec i f i c geographic l oca t i on . 69 * Three main groups among the homeless in Canada can be discerned: there are those who are inadequately housed, people who have become economically d isenfranchised and those who can be described as soc ia l l y marginal ised. These groups are not however l im i ted to one p a r t i c u l a r sub-se t of the populat ion, re in forc ing the argument that the problems faced by the homeless are usual ly in te r - re la ted and compounded. 70 NOTES 1. Richard Davis. "Homeless in Paradise?" Canadian Housing, v o l . 3 , No.2, 1986. 2. June Ca l lwood. "F r i ends Of Homeless Mobi l i ze To Get Results From Inquest." The Globe and M a i l , February 12, 1986. 3. Alan Met t r ick. Last in L ine. Key Porter Books, 1985. 4 . Na t iona l Campaign fo r the Homeless. "Homelessness in the European Community". Report on the f i r s t EEC Commission seminar on Poverty and Homelessness held in Cork, I re land, September 13-15, 1985. 5. 'Mature' refers to people in the pre-retirement age cohort, pa r t i cu la r l y s ingle women for whom the r isk of homelessness i s often considerable, but about whom l i t t l e i s current ly known. 6. These observations have been corroborated by students pursuing research topics and by fr iends and colleagues who have accompanied me or introduced me to homeless people in these areas. ,. -7. I t was ins t ruc t i ve for me that when I was given the respons ib i l i t y of compiling the proceedings of a conference on homelessness in B.C. in May 1987; professionals who work with homeless t ransients in Vancouver in places such as The Lookout, Tr iage, Club 44, or The One Way Drop- in c e n t r e , character ized them as " d r i f t e r s , dreamers, the old and young, men and women, substance abusers and system abusers, runaways and throwaways, natives and ethnic m ino r i t i es , prost i tu tes and v i l l a i n s , the mentally i l l - the poor and the downtrodden". See, A Place To Cal l Home: a Conference on Homelessness in B r i t i s h Columbia. Report of conference proceedings and seven background papers. Arthur L. F a l l i c k and J . David, Hulchanski, General Ed i to rs , 1987. 8. These observations have benef i t ted considerably from the ins ights given to me by John Jessup of the Social Planning Department, Ci ty of Vancouver; John Cashore and Lawrence Bantleman of the F i r s t United Church Social Housing Soc ie ty ; Joe Wai and Ron Yuen whose arch i tectura l designs and sense of commitment to the residents of the area have been a source of knowledge and i nsp i r a t i on ; Patsy George of the B .C . M i n i s t r y of S o c i a l Se rv i ces and Housing, and members of a broadly-based coa l i t i on who came together during 1987 to organise the B.C. Conference on Homelessness. 9. See for example, "Expo '86: I ts Legacy to Vancouver's Downtown Easts ide" . The Downtown Eastside Residents' Assoc ia t ion , August 1987, (par t i cu la r l y the extensive chronology of newspaper and media reports produced by Kr is Olds) , and "Gent r i f i ca t ion in Canadian Inner C i t i e s : Pat terns, Ana lys is , Impacts and P o l i c y " . David Ley, October 1985, prepared for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporat ion. 71 10. From a presentation by John Cashore and Lawrence Bantleman, F i r s t United Church Social Housing Society, at an inv i ta t iona l seminar on "Shel ter for the Homeless: The Scope and Scale of Vancouver's Problem". Centre for Human Settlements, Univers i ty of B . C . , January 1986. 11. Based on information provided by the Associat ion for Street Kids in V i c to r i a at the B.C. Conference on Homelessness, and at a p r o v i n c i a l conference: "Off the S t ree t " , at the Univers i ty of V i c t o r i a , September 1987. Also corroborated by the d i s t r i c t manager of the outreach program in the Min is t ry of Social Services and Housing during a presentation at The Women's Univers i ty Club of Vancouver, October 29, 1987. 12. There are ind icat ions that the problems i den t i f i ed here are not confined to Vancouver and V i c t o r i a . However, because at least some data are ava i lab le on these c i t i e s they are being used to i l l u s t r a t e what appears to be a general and growing tendency across the country. (See for example, La_ Jeunesse Quebecoise et l a phenomene des sans-abr is . Yves Lamontagne e t . a l . , Presses de 1 Univers i te du Quebec - Quebec Science Edi teur , 1987). 13. National Act ion Committee on the Status of Women, " Pos i t ion Paper on Women and Housing", May 1986. See a l so , "Housing for Our Women", Heather Lang-Runtz. Canadian Housing, vo l . 4 , N o . l , 1987; "Women in Need: Towards New Models of Housing and Support". Summary report of a workshop held in Toronto June 1986; "Single-parent Famil ies and Canadian Housing P o l i c i e s : How Mothers Lose". Fran Klodawsky, Aron Spector and Daman's Rose. 1985 CMHC External Research Program, CR f i l e :6585 . At the B.C. Conference on Homelessness, a workshop focussing on homeless women iden t i f i ed the most vulnerable groups ( in addit ion to s ingle-parent mothers), as including the mentally handicapped, teens, older s ingle women, battered women, de ins t i tu t iona l i sed mental pat ients , ch i l d less women, and urban core women, pa r t i cu la r l y those with chemically dependence. For many of these women being homeless enta i led l i v i n g a t ransient l i f e s t y l e , i s o l a t i o n , l i v i n g with v io lence, lack of community and l im i ted housing choices beyond i l l e g a l su i tes . 14. In format ion presented at the B.C. Conference on Homelessness in a workshop focussing on homelessness among the e lde r l y . 15. "Mental Health Consultat ion Report: A Draft Plan to Replace Riverview Hosp i ta l " . Province of B . C . , Min is t ry of Health, 1987. 16. Ib id . 17. Ib id . p.4 18. Ib id . p.3 19. Observations based on personal correspondence and informal interviews. 20. C i ty of Edmonton Non-prof i t Housing Corporation. No Place Like Home. Prepared by the Edmonton Coa l i t i on on Homelessness, May 1987. 72 21. Ib id . 22. This f igure i s based on the estimate by the Canadian Council on Social Development that the absolute homeless in Canada const i tu te between 0.1% and 0.2% of the national populat ion. 23. Ib id . Executive Summary, p.13. 24. These f igures do not include rooming houses or housing considered to be inadequate on the basis of a f f o rdab i l i t y . 25. The Globe and M a i l , October 13, 1986. 26. While Natives are in the minority in Winnipeg, they are over-represented in the c i t y ' s skid row and inner core areas. For example in 1976 between 40,000 and 60,000 natives resided in Winnipeg, at a time when the c i t y population was 578,000, and that the highest concentration (25,000) was in the downtown core (comprising about one th i rd of the core populat ion). 27. Two reports in par t i cu la r have been used: Christopher Hauch. Coping  S t r a t e g i e s and S t r e e t L i f e : The Ethnogrpahy of Winn ipeg 's Sk id Row, Winnipeg, Man: I n s t i t u t e of Urban S t u d i e s , Report No.11 , 1985; And Brundr idge , R i c h a r d . Housing the 'Unhouseab les ' : A Case for Long-term Supportive Housing for Winnipeg's Chronical ly Homeless. Prepared for the Main S t r e e t P ro j ec t Evaluation Report, December 1986. I have also had interviews with the d i rector of Main Street Pro jec t , Mr. John Rodgers in person and by correspondence between 1986 and 1988. A report commissioned by the Manitoba Housing Min is t ry w i l l be released shor t ly . I t i s ant ic ipated that th is report w i l l have a more comprehensive overview of the homeless in Winnipeg. 28. Hauch. Coping St ra teg ies. 29. Brundridge, Housing the 'Unhouseables'. 30. Ib id . 31. J . Ward Homelessness in Ontario: A Report on the Six IYSH Regional Workshops Sponsored by the Ontario Min is t ry of Housing. Toronto, September 1987. 32. A deta i led descr ipt ion of the Ottawa homeless was p ro f i l ed in a week long ser ies by The Ottawa C i t i zen between June 6 and 12, 1987, en t i t l ed "Poverty: The Other Ottawa". 33. The Globe and M a i l , September 19, 1987. 34. The Toronto Star , September 9, 1987. 35. The Toronto Star , August 24, 1987. 36. The Ottawa C i t i z e n , August 29, 1984 73 37. The Ottawa C i t i z e n , June 6, 1987. 38. P. Seneca! . "The Future of Rooming Houses in Quebec", Canadian  Housing, V o l . 2 , No.4, Winter 1985. 39. Yves Lamontagne, e t . a l . La Jeunesse Quebecoise et l a phenomene des sans- a b r i . Montreal: Presses de 1 Univers i te du Quebec, Quebec Science Edi teur , 1987. 40. Sante Soc ie te , Printemps, 1987. 41. Claudette Godley (Chai r ) . Vers une po l i t ique municipale pour les sans- a b r i . Rapport du Comite des Sans-abri depose au Conseil Municipal de l a V i l l e de Montreal, le 13 A v r i l , 1987. 42. The Globe and M a i l , December 1983. 43. A t l a n t i c Women and Housing Conference. New V i s i o n s , Memramcook Ins t i t u te , S t . Joseph, New Brunswick, 1987. 44. CTV - W5, January 26, 1986. 45. June Callwood. The Globe and M a i l , November 21, 1987. 46. Peter Marin. "Helping and Hating the Homeless: The Struggle at the Margins of America". Harpers, January 1986. Describing the American context, Marin i den t i f i e s at least ten groups who are t r ad i t i ona l l y packed into the s ing le category of "the homeless": i . veterans; i i . the mentally i l l ; i i i . phys ica l ly disabled or chron ica l ly i l l ; i v . e lder ly on f ixed incomes; v. men, women and whole fami l ies pauperised by the loss of a job; v i . s ing le parents without the s k i l l s or resources to estab l ish new 1 ives; v i i . runaway and abused ch i l d ren ; v i i i . a lcoho l ics and substance abusers; i x . immigrants; x. the t rad i t iona l tramps, hoboes and t rans ients . 47. Canadian Council on Social Development. National Inquiry on Homelessness, September, 1987. 74 48. See for example: A Place To Cal l Home Shelter or Homes?: A Contr ibut ion to the Search for Solut ions to Homelessness in Canada; a Progress Report. H. Pe te r Oberlander and Arthur L. F a l l i c k . Vancouver, The Centre for Human Settlements, The Universi ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1987; Homelessness and the  Home!ess : Responses and Innova t ions ;a Canadian Con t r i bu t i on to the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. H. Peter Oberlander and Arthur L. F a l l i c k . Vancouver, The Centre fo r Human Se t t l emen ts , The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1988. 49. "Canada's Homeless: The Search for a Future". Maclean's, February 16, 1987. 50. Peter Marcuse. " I s o l a t i n g the Homeless" , paper presented at the International Housing Conference ' C i t y Renewal Through P a r t n e r s h i p s ' , Glasgow, Scot land, Ju ly 7, 1987. 51. This way of thinking i s s t i l l quite prevalent. For example, when the popular ta lk show host Donahue presented a group of homeless Americans to te lev i s ion viewers in 1983, members of the studio audience jeered at the down-and-outs on the podium. One w e l l - d r e s s e d woman rose and a n g r i l y informed them that her fore bears had arr ived in America with nothing, yet had made i t in th is land of opportunity. Cer ta in ly , she declared as the audience chorused approval, the homeless today could do the same i f they worked! See M. Hope and J . Young. Faces of Homelessness. Lexington, Mass:Lexington Books, 1987, p.27. 75 CHAPTER FOUR: A REVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF HOMELESSNESS 75a Homelessness i s not an eas i l y defined or precise term. I t has been used in the l i t e ra tu re inappropriately but commonly: 1. to describe those who are homeless; 2. as a ca tch -a l l phrase for the problems experienced by the homeless; 3. as the end resu l t of these problems (the state of being homeless); and 4. as the process by which people become homeless. Part of th is confusion can be traced to the wide range of de f in i t i ons which are employed, and also to the lack of conceptual c l a r i t y between homeless people and the problems which they experience. The de f in i t i ons which appear most frequently in Canadian studies h igh l ight th is conceptual ambiguity. DEFINITIONS OF HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA Three reports produced by the Community Services Department and the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto, e x p l i c i t l y define homelessness: F i r s t , in the study, No Place To Go, homelessness i s defined as: . . . an increasing problem in Metropolitan Toronto, affected by mult ip le causes in teract ing with each other, i . e . a decl ine in affordable rental stock (espec ia l ly rooming houses) in cen t ra l l y located areas, low vacancy rates in the rental market, high leve ls of unemployment, and prov inc ia l po l i c i es regarding de ins t i t u t i ona l i za t i on . (1 ) The study was based on a survey of hoste ls , and a sample of soc ia l service agencies during 1982, and concluded that there were at least 3,400 persons without a permanent address in the metropolitan area at that t ime.(2) Second, The Social Planning Council defined the issue as having i t s roots in the c r i s i s of housing a f fo rdab i l i t y for low-income people: The issue of homelessness has reached a level of urgency not experienced since the Great Depression. People with low incomes in Toronto are undergoing a c r i s i s in affordable housing. For them the shel ter c r i s i s cannot be simply ca l led an 'emergency 1. It i s a long-term s t a t e , a permanent emergency.(3) 76 The report suggested that the renewed need for emergency housing was due to three re lated fac tors : * an increase in the number of people requir ing emergency accommodation; * an increase in the length of time people remain in emergency hoste ls ; * a sh i f t in the population of hostel users toward a younger c l i e n t e l e . and that the permanent emergency was due to : * high in te res t ra tes ; * low rental vacancies and const ruct ion; * i nsu f f i c i en t publ ic housing const ruct ion; * inadequate socia l assistance and shel ter subsidy ra tes ; * 'deconvers ion ' ; and * the disappearance of inexpensive hote ls , rooming houses and boarding homes.(4) Th i rd , a report by a Task Force on housing for low-income s ingle people in Metropolitan Toronto attempts to corre la te sources of homelessness with f i ve spec i f i c sub-populations:(5) 1. Persons unable to f ind affordable accommodation due to temporary unemployment. 2. P e r s o n s d i s p l a c e d due to c o n v e r s i o n , d e - c o n v e r s i o n , sa l e or demolit ion of dwel l ings. 3. Persons with chronic and perpetual housing problems. 4. Transients dependent on support services and f a c i l i t i e s . 5. Youth: w i th family problems; with s i tuat iona l problems; and with emotional problems.(6) The general thrust of these studies of homelessness in Metropolitan Toronto i s wi th housing i s s u e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y the p r e s s i n g c o n c e r n s over a f f o rdab i l i t y and a v a i l a b i l i t y . In cont rast , the Single Displaced Persons Pro jec t , an informal network from downtown Toronto churches and s o c i a l s e r v i c e agenc ies , employs a considerably broader de f i n i t i on : 77 Homelessness i s the c o n d i t i o n of low-income people who cannot f ind adequate, secure housing at a pr ice they can a f ford . The most obvious element of homelessness i s the lack of housing; but jus t as 'home' i s more than physical she l te r , 'homelessness' includes a lack of th is base for the rest of l i f e ' s a c t i v i t i e s . 'Home' i s associated with personal i den t i t y , fami ly , re la t ionsh ips , a ro le in the community, privacy and secur i t y , and the possession of personal property. Homelessness, or the lack of a 'home' a f fects a l l these areas of an i nd i v i dua l ' s l i f e . As a society we tend to respond to homelessness by using a set of l abe l s . We have a tendency to seek explanations of the problem not in socio-economic (s t ructura l ) terms, but in d i s c r e t e personal problems which can be 'diagnosed' and ' cu red ' . The homeless are then considered ex-mental pat ients , handicapped, a l c o h o l i c , l azy , s tup id , or even ' s o c i a l l y re ta rded ' . When we cannot f ind adequate diagnoses, we tend to blame the v ic t im for h is /her s i t ua t i on . By focusing on the most v i s i b l e and eccentr ic ind iv idua ls we sustain the myth that the majority of homeless people are happy with the i r poverty, choose not to work, and seek to 'bum' of f the rest of soc iety . (7) The SDP group character ises homelessness as "a cycle of having and los ing housing, without choice, resu l t ing in i n s t a b i l i t y and apparent t rans ience" , a posi t ion s im i la r to that adopted by Hopper, that homelessness i s both a c o n d i t i o n and a form of surv iva l strategy. (8) This i s c losest to the de f i n i t i on which I have adopted in th is d i sse r ta t i on . The f i n a l approach to d e f i n i n g homelessness stems from research undertaken to prepare the Canadian submissions and resolut ions for the IYSH by the Faculty of Environmental Studies at York Univers i ty . (9) According to Murray and Fa l l i s , the problem has three dimensions: A housing dimension - analysed in re la t ion to pr ice and a v a i l a b i l i t y of new and ex is t ing un i t s ; g e n t r i f i c a t i o n , and the decl ine of the old rental stock; An income/employment dimension - ana lysed in r e l a t i o n to poverty, dependency (the non-working popu la t ion in p ropor t i on to the working populat ion), and income secur i t y ; and A soc ia l /psycholog ica l dimension - discussed in re la t ion to family and h o u s e h o l d b r e a k u p , d i v o r c e , a g i n g , e t h n i c i t y , s i n g l e p a r e n t r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s , personal i den t i t y , and special needs groups.(10) 78 AN ANALYSIS OF HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA While cer ta in general themes emerge from these de f i n i t i ons , no s ingle factor exc lus ive ly or successful ly explains why people become homeless. This supports the thesis that homelessness i s , in e f f ec t , the manifestation of a ser ies of s y n e r g i s t i c a l l y r e l a t e d c o n d i t i o n s . However, at l e a s t ten recurr ing issues are evident which appear to l ink homelessness in Canada to a range of i n d i v i d u a l , s o c i a l , economic and housing-related condi t ions: * HOUSING AFFORDABILITY * DISPLACEMENT * DEINSTITUTIONALISATION * LACK OF ADEQUATE COMMUNITY SUPPORT SERVICES/FACILITIES * POVERTY * UNEMPLOYMENT * INADEQUATE SOCIAL ASSISTANCE RATES * FAMILY BREAKDOWN * INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY * SOCIAL ATTITUDES (11) While any one of these condit ions can adversely a f fect an i nd i v i dua l , a family or an ent i re community, they are more often in te r - re la ted and combine to create mul t ip le problems for the homeless. The matrix below highl ights the synergy among the economic, socia l and housing factors which contr ibute to homelessness in Canada. 79 The Synergy of the Conditions Contr ibuting to Homelessness / ECONOMIC SOCIAL HOUSING Source of Homelessness / CONDITIONS PROBLEMS PROBLEMS HOUSING AFFORDABILITY X O X DISPLACEMENT X O X DEINSTITUTIONALISATION 0* X 0* LACK OF ADEQUATE COMMUNITY X X 0 SUPPORT SERVICES/FACILITIES POVERTY X O X UNEMPLOYMENT X 0 O X * INADEQUATE SOCIAL X O X * ASSISTANCE RATES FAMILY BREAKDOWN X 0* O X * X 0* INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY O X * O X * 0 SOCIAL ATTITUDES X X X X = Major Pre-condi t ion 0 = Related Condition * = Appl icable to Spec i f i c Sub-groups. Three examples i l l u s t r a t e a way of in terpret ing the matr ix: * Unemployment - Economic condit ions can prec ip i ta te homeless-related problems (X), and these in turn can resu l t i n , or be exacerbated by re lated soc ia l (0) and/or housing problems (OX*). While the reasons for a person becoming unemployed vary c o n s i d e r a b l y , they are commonly t i e d to a combinat ion of l o c a l , reg iona l , national or even internat ional economic condi t ions. Unemployment per se may not necessar i ly resu l t in a person becoming homeless. I t i s more often a pre-condit ion which t r iggers a ser ies 80 of re lated problems: Unemployment insurance or soc ia l assistance benefi ts may not be su f f i c i en t to cover the range of expenditures which were possible when an ind iv idual was working; housing expenditures may r i se as a proportion of ava i lab le income, savings may be depleted and any debts previously incurred may be more d i f f i c u l t to pay. For cer ta in groups (e.g. those on f ixed or low-income), the resu l t can have a d i rec t bearing on the i r a b i l i t y to remain in the i r present acommodation (X*) , whereas for those with more discret ionary income, the r isk of becoming homeless i s increased (0), pa r t i cu la r l y i f the i r circumstances worsen. The combination of economic condit ions and housing problems can also t r igger a range of re lated socia l problems (e.g. family breakdown, emotional d is t ress e t c . ) . * D e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n - i n th is case the economic condit ions (0* i n c l u d i n g the i n d i v i d u a l ' s r esou rces as w e l l as g e n e r a l economic c o n d i t i o n s ) , and housing problems (0* e.g. the lack of appropriate and affordable housing), exacerbate problems which r e l a t e p r i m a r i l y to an ind iv idual being released from an i ns t i t u t i on into communities which are more or less equipped to respond to the i r health and socia l problems (X). While recognising the dangers of making sweeping general isat ions about what i s in e f f e c t an extremely diverse populat ion, the intent ion i s to suggest the synergy among the problems which are re lated to a p rec ip i ta t ing condit ion or event. * Housing A f f o r d a b i 1 i t y - i s obv ious ly a housing problem (X), but af fordabi l i ty i s a l so r e l a t e d to l o c a l economic cond i t i ons i n c l u d i n g v a r i a t i o n s in the demand and supply of housing (e.g among low-income 81 f a m i l i e s ) , as well as regional condi t ions. For example, while Ontario i s current ly experiencing an economic boom, t h i s has exacerbated housing problems in many munic ipa l i t ies across the province, and has a l tered the composition of the homeless in the larger c i t i e s , pa r t i cu la r l y Toronto, as people migrate there in the hope of f ind ing work. The high cost of l i v i n g and skyrocketing housing costs are pointed to by homeless advocates and f r on t l i n e workers , as c o n t r i b u t i n g to inc reased personal and socia l problems. I t was noted in chapter two that spat ia l var ia t ion can be expected to make a di f ference to the way soc ia l act ion i s const i tuted and transformed. This suggests a promising l i ne of invest igat ion in the study of the geographic dimensions of homelessness. The sources of homelessness in the matrix above represent a combination of c o n d i t i o n s which c o n t r i b u t e to regional var ia t ions in the incidence of  homelessness, and to var ia t ions in the composition and spat ia l concentration of the homeless which are re lated to local condit ions and events. Condi ts.Contr ibut ing to Regional Var iat ions in Homelessness Var iat ions in Composition and Spat ia l Concentration of the Homeless HOUSING AFFORDABILITY DISPLACEMENT POVERTY DEINSTITUTIONALISATION UNEMPLOYMENT LACK OF ADEQ. COMMUNITY SERVICES INADEQUATE SOCIAL FAMILY BREAKDOWN ASSISTANCE BENEFITS INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBILITY SOCIAL ATTITUDES 82 A REVIEW OF ANALYSES OF HOMELESSNESS A review of the growing i n t e r n a t i o n a l l i t e r a t u r e on homelessness co r robora tes the Canadian f i n d i n g s , suggest ing tha t in many western i ndus t r i a l i sed countr ies, homelessness i s re lated in varying degrees to at leas t three sets of problems: * personal problems * shel ter or housing issues * socio-economic condit ions Supporting evidence from selected sources i s presented below. Homelessness as a Personal Problem There has long been a perspective which views the homeless as arch i tects of the i r own misfortune - they have chosen to opt out of soc ie ty . Much of the e a r l y l i t e r a t u r e on vagrancy and some of the more contemporary ethnographic and j o u r n a l i s t i c vignettes of the skid row cul ture and m i l i eu , in fe r that due to impaired judgement or perverse w i l l , the homeless choose and indeed prefer to l i v e on the s t ree ts . This perspective conforms to what Hopper describes as the ' impaired capacity model ' , which accounts for the r i se in homelessness by appeal to a l l e g e d d i f f e r e n c e s in the homeless themselves. This at t i tude equates a small but readi ly i den t i f i ab le sub-set with the ent i re homeless populat ion, and i s often used to blame the homeless for the i r s i tuat ion. (12) There i s no necessity to look beyond the indiv idual for an explanation of the sources of the problem, and by imp l ica t ion , i t becomes j u s t i f i a b l e to argue that society as a whole has no respons ib i l i t y for what i s regarded as a s e l f - i n f l i c t e d predicament. During a 1985 European summit on homelessness and poverty, F r . Peter McVerry eloquently described the rat ionale behind 'blaming the v i c t i m ' : 83 The root cause of the continuing problem of homelessness i s the at t i tude of both the publ ic and of o f f i c i a l decision-makers in soc ie ty , the fact tha t we s t igmat ize and blame the homeless for the i r p l igh t and as a consequence f requen t l y mete out degrading treatment to them. Our at t i tudes to the homeless are part and parcel of our at t i tudes to others in soc ie ty , to those who cannot survive adequately in a wor ld where economic values are uppermost - the poor, the unemployed, a l l those who do not or cannot par t ic ipate in the productive system of a society are not only marginalized by a society that f inds d i f f i c u l t y in seeing a value in such persons but salves i t s own conscience by project ing the blame for the i r p l igh t onto the vict ims themselves.(13) He went on to add: The homeless are t yp i ca l l y those who have the least resources to survive the soc ia l and economic changes imposed on them by an economic development to which they are surplus and added to the i r burden i s the burden of homelessness. They have reached the f i na l stage of a process of socia l dec l ine , a react ion to unemployment, poverty and personal c r i ses (such as separation from a spouse, imprisonment leading to a d is in tegra t ion of family and general socia l r e l a t i ons , a lcohol ism, etc) with which they have been unable to cope adequately. They are to the publ ic the most v i s i b l e of the homeless and so tend to create the stereotyped image of the homeless in the pub l i c ' s mind. To become homeless i s not usual ly a f a i l u re on the part of the indiv idual but a f a i l u r e of the socia l structure and soc ia l support systems that each society provides. It also re f l ec ts structures in the housing market, d e f i c i e n c i e s in general housing pol icy and the frequency of re la t i ve poverty. (14) Peter Marcuse has described i t in the fol lowing way: The le i tmo t i f for the evasive establishment react ion to homelessness i s i s o l a t i o n . I s o l a t e the problem i n t e l l e c t u a l l y , i so la te the v ic t im phys i ca l l y : deny the problem, blame the v ic t ims, or hide them away... If denial won't work in the face of everyday observations, then blame the v i c t im . There's the homespun wisdom and the academic f o r m u l a t i o n . Homespun: the homeless are not l i k e you and me. There's something wrong with them or they wouldn't be homeless. They're incompetent, c raz i es , drunks, drug add ic ts , kooks. They're socia l problems; we have other more worthy socia l problems to worry about. The academic ve rs ion i s more dangerous. To get at the roots of homelessness, inquire who the homeless are. Some have mental problems? They need medical care. Others have substance abuse problems? Put them into a de tox i f i ca t ion program. Many are chi ldren? Teach the i r mothers moral i ty or , for non-cathol ics, b i r th con t ro l . Some are evicted because they can ' t pay the rent? Wel l , what can you do? Give them housing temporari ly, but they j us t have to learn that the landlord comes f i r s t . Gone from considerat ion are the housing shortage, unemployment, cut-backs i n s o c i a l p rog rams , g e n t r i f i c a t i o n and condominium c o n v e r s i o n s , escalat ing rents and hous ing- for -prof i t only. (15) 84 A more recent and somewhat more char i tab le var iant on the "impaired capaci ty" perspective suggests that many of the homeless are the unfortunate c a s u a l t i e s of po l i c i es of de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on which resul ted in large numbers of mentally i l l people roaming the streets in a state of perpetual con fus ion and a l i ena t ion . Hopper however cautions against th is form of explanat ion: This f a l l acy of fragments taken for wholes not only reduces people to t r a i t s and ways of l i f e to e l i c i t e d ' s t r i p s of b e h a v i o r ' , i t a l so r e s t r i c t s the c i r c l e of enquiry to those forces which impinge d i rec t l y on the population in question. 'Causes' of homelessness become synonymous with the catalogue of events that have displaced members of the c l a s s . Boundary condit ions are invoked and pe rs i s t , but no explanation i s given for them. (16) Two examples can serve to i l l u s t r a t e Hopper's point . In 1983, Thomas Main reported on the resu l ts of a study of residents of emergency shel ters in New York which attempted to estab l ish l i nks between the d i f fe rent subsets of the residents and sources of the i r problems.(17) The c l a s s i f i c a t i o n system iden t i f i ed f i ve groups: 1. Psych ia t r i c only 2. A lcoho l ic only 3. Economic only 4. Drug only 5. Physical d i s a b i l i t y only. (18) The resu l ts of the study cast doubts on the v a l i d i t y of the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n : Trying to categorize the shel ter c l i en t s i s very d i f f i c u l t . Indeed, the sa l i en t point to be made about them i s that they are a very heterogeneous group. They have come to the shel ters because of a var iety of misfortunes and pathologies, and the i r housing s i tuat ions before they come to the shel ter are very diverse. The more one looks at shel ter c l i en t s the less obvious i t becomes tha t they share a common s t a t e , which may be straightforwardly defined as homelessness. (19) Desp i te t h i s character isat ion however, Main takes a very conservative stance on the issue of homelessness. He c r i t i c i s e s the approach of homeless advocates for not d is t ingu ish ing between the 'deserving' and 'undeserving' 85 homeless, arguing from his New York shel ter s t a t i s t i c s that many homeless are able-bodied, who choose shel ters because they are f ree , when in fact they may have other housing options. He argues that th is sub-group should be forced to par t ic ipa te in some sort of work requirement, and tha t the homeless advocates are so busy blaming the system that they miss the question of ind iv idual r espons ib i l i t y . In his most recent work, which w i l l be reviewed l a t e r , Main extends his attack on advocates for the homeless well beyond the shel ter set t ing from which his s t a t i s t i c s were der ived, suggesting that the i ssue has been blown out of a l l p r o p o r t i o n ; although somewhat to the detriment of h is own pos i t i on , he character ises the problem of homelessness as i n t r a c t a b l e , because "the great majority of homeless i nd i v idua l s , and possibly some s ign i f i can t proportion of homeless fam i l i es , are a f f l i c t e d with behavioral or medical d i s a b i l i t i e s or both." (20) The second i l l u s t r a t i o n of Hopper's caution against 'blaming the v i c t im ' involves a landmark study on the l i nks between homelessness and the mentally i l l in the United States, in which E l len Bassuk made the fol lowing comments which have had s ign i f i can t repercussions in many subsequent analyses of the ef fects of de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on on people with psych ia t r ic d isorders: More Americans were homeless l as t winter than at any time since the Great Depression. Several factors may have contributed to the swel l ing of the homeless p o p u l a t i o n . The most o b v i o u s one i s the r e c e s s i o n . Unemployment reached a peak of 10.7% in November 1982, i t s highest level since the 1930's. The ef fects of unemployment are i n tens i f i ed by another problem: the dearth of low-cost hous ing . Recent cuts in government benef i t payments may also have thrown some people onto the s t ree ts . Far more important however, in i t s impact on the homeless population has been the long-term change in the national pol icy for dealing with the mentally i l l . My experience as a psych ia t r i s t working with homeless people in Boston leads me to bel ieve that an important change has taken place: an increasing number - I would say a large majority - of the homeless suf fer from mental i l l n e s s , ranging from schizophrenia to severe personal i ty d isorders. (21) 86 Bassuk's study found that about 40% of those studied had psychoses, 29% were chronic a l coho l i cs , and 21% had personal i ty disorders.(22) However, despite repeated attempts by the authors to qual i fy the resu l ts of the i r study ( i t was conducted in only one emergency she l te r ) , th is p a r t i c u l a r excerpt has been used to support arguments to the ef fect that the majority of America's homeless are mentally i l l . ( 2 3 ) As a resu l t , there has been a growing movement to i so la te the problem (hence the appeal to 'pa tho logy ' ) , rather than to consider the complex dynamics which are beyond the sphere of the ind iv idua l . (24) The two previous examples are intended to i l l u s t r a t e Hopper's concern that homelessness not be equated simply, or so l e l y , with mental i l l n e s s (or more appropr iate ly , with the ef fects of de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on p o l i c i e s ) . I t i s not the intent ion here to give the impression that mental i l l n e s s i s not a s i g n i f i c a n t p rec ip i t an t of homelessness. To the contrary, the homeless mentally i l l const i tu te an important sub-popu la t ion from a geographic p e r s p e c t i v e , because in recent years, the locus of the i r treatment has sh i f ted from the hospital to the community with s ign i f i can t impl ica t ions. As a recent ed i t o r i a l by Bassuk in Hospital and Community Psychiatry r i g h t l y po in ts ou t , research i n to whether or not homelessness i s a s i gn i f i can t mental health problem i s l im i ted and contradictory, and estimates of mental i l l n e s s in the United States range from 20% to 90%.(25) "But most exper ts agree tha t a s i g n i f i c a n t percentage of homeless people have diagnoseable mental i l l n e s s , although publ ic o f f i c i a l s of a l l ideologies have f a i l e d to recognize the impl icat ions of th is fact . " (26) Before reviewing analyses of homelessness as a housing issue, one other l i n e of argument should be included in the present sec t ion , because i t 87 examines the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the homeless in a unique and thought-provoking manner. In 1982, Hopper and Baxter wrote an ethnographic study in which they f i r s t advanced the idea that some homeless people may in ten t iona l l y adopt b izarre behaviour pa t te rns or present a b i z a r r e appearance as a p r o t e c t i v e device. (27) Hopper's 1985 a r t i c l e with Susser and Connover considerably extends th is argument. They attempt to understand homelessness as a process, and s i tuate i t wi thin a larger set of urban survival s t rategies employed by the economically disenfranchised and the soc ia l l y marginalised homeless. According to th is perspect ive, homelessness becomes a way of descr ibing one aspect of a survival strategy which the homeless use in response to the circumstances which have made everyday l i f e an increasingly tenuous a f fa i r . (28 ) Homelessness i s seen as something which people in par t , contr ive to do - a way of managing under duress. I t i s therefore both a circumstance forced upon the homeless and one that allows (indeed requ i res) , some manoeuvering on the i r part . Since being homeless - espec ia l l y being homeless repeatedly - takes e f fo r t and work, i t should be seen as both a condit ion and a response.(29) The next sect ion reviews analyses of homelessness as a housing issue. Homelessness as a Housing Market Issue An a l te rnat ive thrust to analyses of homelessness locates the sources of the problems in spec i f i c i ne f f i c i enc ies wi thin the housing market. For e x a m p l e , i n a w o n d e r f u l l y e n t e r t a i n i n g paper, Marcuse argues tha t homelessness ex is ts in the U.S. in part because the housing system produces housing only for p r o f i t , and the problem has skyrocketed because there i s no p ro f i t in providing homes to the very poor . (30) Accord ing to f i g u r e s 88 reproduced by Marcuse, housing for the very poor i s decreasing in supply. The vacancy rate in many c i t i e s i s below 3% which i s considered to be the minimum fo r a healthy housing market with normal opportunit ies to move. Although there i s a general housing shortage in the country, low-rent housing i s i n the s h o r t e s t supp l y . Marcuse a l so argues tha t the economic r es t r uc tu r i ng of c i t i e s (wi th s u b s t a n t i a l governmental suppo r t ) , has contr ibuted to th is shortage: There were always poor people l i v i n g at the margins of subsistence. In the past they used to l i v e in f lop houses, in s ing le- room-occupancy hote ls , in the cheapest of cheap apartments. But such accommodations are in the path of urban "progress". Skid row af ter skid row i s demolished as downtowns expand. Yerba Buena and South of Market in San Francisco, Pres ident ia l Towers in Chicago, the 42nd Street redevelopment project in New York, a l l contr ibute to replacing housing for the poor by housing for the r ich. (31) A number of other American studies have focussed on the l i nks between homelessness and housing.(32) Freeman and Hall l ink the r i se in homelessness to changes in the demographic charac te r i s t i cs of the population which have produced housing problems. They argue that increases in the number of female headed fami l ies and substance abusers, along with de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on , have g radua l l y expanded the popu la t ion at r i s k of homelessness.(33) Secondly, they point to a rapid increase, between 1979 and 1983 in the number of people with except ional ly low incomes (below US$3000). They conclude that the continued r i se in homelessness af ter 1983 can best be accounted for by the coincidence of an expansion in the numbers of very poor households with a sharp f a l l in the numbers of low rent units ava i lab le in central c i t i e s . S imi la r l i nks between housing and demographic change have been made in Western Europe. A project recently completed at The Universi ty of Del f t in the Netherlands, looked at trends in homelessness across e leven Western i ndus t r i a l i sed nations (mostly in Northern Europe).(34) The report suggests: 89 Roof !essness i s but a barium trace of d i f f i c u l t i e s facing very large groups within the household population as a consequence of housing market bott lenecks. Nor i s roof1essness the only ind ica tor . Others include an increase in average household s i z e , sometimes accompanied by increased overcrowding, cost ly black markets f lour i sh ing in defiance of rent control l e g i s l a t i o n and the emergence of unauthorised occupancy.(35) The main causes of homelessness were i d e n t i f i e d as housing demand, unemployment, the " d e s k i l l i n g " of the labour force and the t rend toward underemp loyment , a l l of which are s e r i o u s l y a f f e c t i n g the younger gene ra t i ons . Jane Morton of the Joseph Rowntree Memorial T r u s t , a par t ic ipant in the study, suggests that these causes are compounded by the impact of two major demographic 'bulges' on the housing market (those born during the peak postwar b i r th ra te years who are now in the i r twenties and seeking to es tab l ish the i r own households, and those now in the i r seventies and e ight ies from the previous era of big fami l ies before the 1914 - 1918 war, who occupy almost one quarter of a l l homes), and by the fragmentation of ex is t ing households through re la t ionsh ip breakdown.(36) In Great B r i t a i n , o f f i c i a l de f in i t ions and s t a t i s t i c s r e l a t e more to housing than to homelessness (hence the use of the term roof lessness) . As a r esu l t , the homeless are gene ra l l y cons idered to be l i m i t e d to those (general ly fami l ies) already in temporary accommodation, or people who apply to a loca l authori ty for temporary accommodation. The national Department of Heal th and Social Securi ty i den t i f i e s twenty categories according to the immediate cause of homelessness, whether actual or pending [form H41 (DHSS)]: a. Act ion taken by landlord - other than local authori ty ( i ) court order fo r : (a) rent arrears (b) landlord wanted accommodation for use of se l f or family (c) service contract ended (d) landlord defaulted on mortgage 90 (e) other reasons ( i i ) act ions other than court order (a) authorised increase in rent (b) i l l e g a l increase in rent (c) harassment (d) other reasons b. Local authori ty act ion (a) rent arrears (b) service contract ended (c) other reasons c. Other reasons (a) unauthorised occupants (b) family disputes ( i ) between husband and wife or cohabitees ( i i ) involv ing other re la t i ves (c) f i r e , f lood and storm (d) from hotel or other s im i la r accommodation (e) new to the area (f) other reasons (37) Two prominent B r i t i s h housing organisat ions, the Cathol ic Housing Aid Society (C .H .A .S . ) , and Shelter (National Campaign for the Homeless), use a broader de f in i t i on which l i nks housing with the qual i ty of family l i f e : Home should be understood as a place where ind iv iduals and fami l ies can be themselves for better or worse, can obtain peace and secur i t y , and can f l ou r i sh both phys ica l ly and mental ly. I t should be an e f fec t ive place for d a i l y l i f e , p r o v i d i n g r e s t and r e l a x a t i o n and the s t rength fo r par t i c ipa t ion in our pressurised and competitive society.(38) Thus, besides the 's tatutory homeless 1, C.H.A.S and Shelter recognise a much larger group of 'hidden homeless': 1) S p l i t Famil ies - fa ther , mother and chi ldren unable to l i v e together; 2) The Severely Overcrowded; 3) Mar r ied Couples l i v i n g in accommodation where ch i l d ren are not al1 owed; 4) Famil ies obl iged to l i v e with in- laws; 5) Famil ies having to pay rents which are excessive in re la t ion to the i r income; 6) Fatherless fami l i es - mothers and chi ldren with no support; 7) Famil ies in welfare department accommodation. 91 The most r e c e n t r e p o r t by S h e l t e r ( S c o t l a n d ) , i n d i c a t e s tha t homelessness, as recorded by local au tho r i t i es , rose by 70% in the two years ending 1985/86. In 1986 there were 26,000 f a m i l i e s and s ingle people o f f i c i a l l y recorded as having appl ied to the i r local authori ty as homeless. Their f igures indicate that there has been an increase of 35% in the number of households on wait ing l i s t s between 1982 and 1987 (now estimated to be 200,000), and they conclude that there are now l i k e l y to be greater numbers of s ingle and young people on these l i s t s compared with the composition in 1980.(39) Using case s t a t i s t i c s and a survey of housing au tho r i t i es , 'immediate' causes of homelessness were i den t i f i ed as: Immediate Cause of Homelessness (Apr i l '85 - March '86) Scotland % Parents, f r iends and re la t i ves no longer w i l l i n g to accommodate 42.4 Dispute with spouse/cohabitee - v io lent 13.8 Dispute with spouse/cohabitee - non-violent 16.0 Court order 5.1 Loss of service tenancy 1.5 Action by landlord 4.1 F i r e , f l ood , storm e tc . 4.3 Discharged from i ns t i t u t i on 1.0 Lost accommodation in hostel /hotel 1.9 Gave up secure accommodation 4.1 Other 8.7 Total 100 Source: National Campaign for the Homeless. Shelter Progress Report, 1987 A more recent trend in the analysis of the l i nks between housing and homelessness attempts to ident i fy the spectrum of problems experienced by d i f fe rent sub-sets of the homeless. Watson and A u s t e r b e r r y ' s housing a n a l y s i s in Great B r i t a i n adopts a feminist perspect ive, in which i t i s 92 argued that def in ing the charac te r i s t i cs of a home should be approached in terms of a continuum, with 's leeping rough' at one end and outr ight property ownership at the other.(40) In between these polar extremes they suggest, i s "an ex tens ive grey a rea" ranging f rom h o s t e l s , h o t e l s , temporary accommodation, s l eep ing on f r i e n d s ' f l oo r s , to insecure pr ivate rented accommodation, mortgaged accommodation and so on. They point out that the nearer to the ' s l e e p i n g rough' end of the continuum the de f in i t i on of homelessness i s made, the smaller appears to be the problem, and tha t p o l i t i c i a n s and policy-makers invar iab ly invoke th is l im i ted d e f i n i t i o n , whereas advocates of the homeless tend toward the broader de f i n i t i on . Charles Hoch in Chicago i s using a somewhat s im i la r analysis which t reats any condi t ion of homelessness as occupying a point in what he describes as "a continuum of unce r ta in t y regard ing hous ing" . (41 ) According to th is perspect ive, the tota l absence of shel ter i s merely the extreme end of that continuum, and what emerges i s several leve ls of jeopardy. Hoch's approach has been modified by Vergare and Arce, who have developed a c l a s s i f i c a t i o n based on the duration of homelessness. They suggest three categor ies: the chronic - who are homeless for more than 30 continuous days; episodic - who tend to al ternate for varying periods of time between being and not being domici led; and the s i tuat ional for whom homelessness i s the temporary resu l t of a 1 i fe c r i s i s . ( 4 2 ) ' Houselessness ' (or ' roof 1 essness ' ) does not provide a su f f i c i en t l y encompassing explanation of the sources of homelessness, and as a r e s u l t , more recent analyses are attempting to s i tuate housing within a broader framework. 93 Hope and Young for example, have suggested that homelessness in London, pa r t i cu la r l y among the so-ca l led new poor, can be traced to B r i t a i n ' s aging indus t r ia l soc ie ty , mixed but often Darwinian at t i tudes toward the poor, and a long t rad i t i on of pr ivate char i ty that con f l i c t s with the welfare state philosophy: In London, growing numbers of f a m i l i e s have j o i n e d the hard core homeless, the chronic a lcoho l ics who l i v e in and out of dormitory- l ike hoste ls , bed-s i t te r lodging houses, and missions. The chief factor in the r i se of roof less fami l ies seems to be the decay of low-income housing under the Thatcher government. Publ ic housing has been offered for pr ivate ownership, with tenants allowed f i r s t choice. An Engl ish house condit ion survey (1982) revealed that the sharp r i se in homeownership has been a major factor in the deter iorat ion of c i t y housing stock; owners cannot af ford to maintain i t . At the same time there have been cuts in housing benefi ts for low-income people. The resu l t i s that housing s tar ts (pub l ic , pr ivate and voluntary) in 1983 under the Conservative government were 50,000 less than the worst year under Labour in 1978.(43) F i n a l l y under th is category, Chester Hartman casts homelessness in the United States as a subset of the displacement phenomenon: Homelessness i s , in sum, simply an extreme manifestation of poverty, and homelessness i s on the r i se because poverty i s too. Economic pressures on the poor and near-poor are in tens i fy ing while housing costs continue to cl imb. The resu l t i s an ever-widening gap between the shel ter people can af ford and the shel ter they need.(44) In th is view, homeless people used to have a place to l i v e , but they have been displaced by an array of fo rces, and some are not fortunate enough to be re located. Unemployment, cuts in soc ia l programs, decl ine in housing stocks, the f a i l u r e of de ins t i tu t iona l i s a t i o n , and personal c r i ses " a l l have a c ruc ia l p o l i t i c a l component as the i r root cause."(45) The preceding reviews prov ide va luab le i n s i g h t s into two important dimensions of homelessness. There are those whose problems can be traced to ind iv idual circumstances, both intent ional or unintended. Secondly, people become homeless because they are unable to main ta in secure a f f o r d a b l e housing. I t cannot be concluded from the research reviewed however, that 94 personal pathology or housing problems by themselves explain homelessness. Rather, they are necessary but not su f f i c i en t pre-condi t ions. This point i s pursued in the next part of the review which examines analyses which posi t s t ructura l explanations of homelessness. Homelessness as a Socio-Economic Condition In the past f i ve years there has been an increase in studies which move beyond the personal pathology and rooflessness approaches to incorporate a broader ana lys is . The fol lowing review lends support to the thesis that homelessness resu l ts from the confluence of s o c i a l , economic, p o l i t i c a l and physical shel ter condit ions which combine in par t i cu la r ways and at varying spat ia l and temporal sca les . This more comprehensive perspective suggests that one or more of s t ructural condit ions can act as a prec ip i tant which t r iggers other dimensions. In other words, spec i f i c sources of homelessness (e.g. unemployment coupled with the loss of a home) can be a ca ta lys t which p r e c i p i t a t e s other socia l problems such as family breakdown, a lcohol ism, malnut r i t ion , d e p r e s s i o n , and sometimes death. Examples of the most comprehensive approaches are reviewed below. In an analys is of the h i s to r i ca l roots of homelessness in the U . S . , Hopper e t . a l . suggest tha t four causes can be advanced to explain the explosive increase in the numbers of homeless people in the 1970's and 1980's: 1. Ris ing rates of unemployment (especia l ly among young and m ino r i t i es ) ; 2. Dire shortage of affordable housing; 3. De ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on ; 4. Intensive changes in socia l assistance benefi ts and e l i g i b i l i t y . ( 4 6 ) 95 These factors point to the relevant developments behind the p rec ip i ta t ing events (ev ic t ion or the threat of i t ; loss of income; personal c r i ses and others) . But the dynamics behind such developments remain mysterious. Insofar as such factors are put forward as ' exp lana t ions ' , then they themselves are in need of chal lenging. Homelessness, as i t ex is ts today, may say as much about how the system current ly 'works' as i t does about how i t ' f a i l s ' . ( 4 7 ) They argue that decis ive changes have taken place in the economy at la rge , in the housing market, and in government programs and po l i c i es for the disabled and dependent, which have resul ted in a widening gap between the cost of subsistence needs and the resources ava i lab le to meet them: The homelessness phenomenon stems not only from changes taking place in the housing market but a l s o from changes i n the l a b o r market ( o c c u p a t i o n a l s t r u c t u r e , general economic d e c l i n e , and household demography), in the structure of our urban areas, and in publ ic po l i c i es designed for s ingle 'dependent' populat ions. What we are witnessing in the 1980's i s the culmination of s t ructura l trends developing over the previous decade that w i l l continue to i n tens i f y , even during c y c l i c a l periods of economic recovery. Accordingly, i t makes l i t t l e sense to con f ine a n a l y s i s of the problem to a scrut iny of those who are i t s v ict ims.(48) According to Hopper, i t was in the period from the ear ly to the la te 1970's that the relevant factors f e l l into place and the i r combined force gathered momentum. In the ear ly 1980's, as the economy worsened and housing markets t ightened, a threshold was crossed and widespread homelessness resu l ted. The ef fects were d i f f e r e n t i a l l y d i s t r i bu ted : Groups whose hold on a set t led mode of l i f e was already tenuous were the f i r s t to be af fected: thus the a r r i va l of ex-psych ia t r ic patients and of young, jobless minority men on the s t r e e t s and in the s h e l t e r s was apparent in some areas by the mid-1970's. As the decade progressed and new forces responsible for homelessness i n t e n s i f i e d , the numbers of the homeless grew and the i r composition d ivers i f i ed . (49) Hopper's research i s pa r t i cu la r l y relevant here because i t stresses the need to mesh micro and macro perspectives on homelessness as a way of i d e n t i f y i n g appropr ia te u n i t s of o b s e r v a t i o n , and i t recogn ises the importance of i d e n t i f y i n g the mediat ing s t r u c t u r e s through which the 96 i n f l u e n c e of s o c i a l s t r u c t u r e s ( e . g . government, the economy, c l a s s i n te res ts , in te r a l i a ) , are expressed at the level of indiv idual l i v e s . Redburn and Buss present a somewhat s im i la r argument to account for the recent r i se in homelessness in the U .S . : * A severe recession in 1982 and pers is tent high unemployment in some regions and population segments; * reductions in national socia l program spending or new res t r i c t i ons on program e l i g i b i l i t y ; * shortages of l ow-cos t housing, perhaps exacerbated by government housing and urban redevelopment p o l i c i e s ; and * the movement of state governments and the courts away from long term hosp i ta l i za t ion of the mentally i l l , combined with the f a i l u r e to create adequate community support systems for those who, in the previous e ra , would have been ins t i t u t i ona l i zed . (50 ) In f ac t , the ava i lab le evidence i s not su f f i c i en t to say with cer ta in ty how much of the r i se in homelessness i s due to each of these or other factors. (51) As they argue, th is conclusion has s ign i f i can t rami f ica t ions: If the USA accepts the creat ion of a permanent massive shel ter system as the main response to homelessness, then i t accepts also the permanence of a large population with no place to c a l l home. A society that accepts th is as a solut ion accepts i t s f a i l u re to develop e f fec t ive approaches to prevention, i t s abandonment of re integrat ion as a goal for most of the homeless who need special help to l i v e independently and i t s f a i l u re to c rea te new permanent c u s t o d i a l s e t t i n g s fo r those who have been deb i l i t a ted by poverty and l i f e on the s t ree ts . S t i l l unsett led i s the extent to which the poverty and socia l marginal i ty that character ize the homeless popu la t ion are products of predisposing personal a t t r ibu tes -s p e c i f i c a l l y mental i l l n e s s and alcohol and drug addict ion - and are not themselves primary causes of homelessness.(52) Three i n f l uen t i a l regional studies of homelessness in the United States have also highl ighted the synerg is t ic nature of the problems. In 1986, a survey of hunger, homelessness and poverty in twenty f i ve American c i t i e s , a U.S. Conference of Mayors concluded: 97 Ident i f ied most often as reasons for the persistence of homelessness in c i t i e s were: the shortage of housing affordable by low-income persons; changes in mental hea l th po l i c i es combined with a lack of community s e r v i c e s fo r c h r o n i c a l l y menta l l y i l l i nd i v i dua l s ; and unemployment problems. In none of the 25 Task Force c i t i e s has the national economic recovery lessened the problem of homelessness. Other causes c i ted include inadequate leve ls of publ ic assistance programs, the high cost of l i v i n g , cuts in federal and state assistance programs, the loss of s ingle room occupancy hotels and other low income housing, and migration of people from other areas seeking jobs but unable to f ind them.(53) A report published by the Governor of the State of New York makes the argument tha t al though data are scanty and the l o n g i t u d i n a l s tud ies necessary to es tab l ish causal i ty non-existent: . . . obse rve rs gene ra l l y agree tha t the fo rces respons ib l e fo r mass displacement throughout the 1970's and into the 1980's are: Unemployment - - f i r s t appear ing among those who were t r a d i t i o n a l l y discr iminated against or who were but precariously included in the labor market, but spreading to s k i l l e d workers and t h e i r f a m i l i e s in the 1980's. Scarc i ty of affordable housing - - the j o i n t product of abandonment, urban renewal e f fo r ts mounted in the 1960's ( fueled by tax abatements and generous p ro f i t - t ak i ng ) , r i s i n g fuel cos ts , and incomes which f a i l to keep pace with i n f l a t i o n . De ins t i t u t i ona l i za t ion of the mentally disabled — a revolut ion in mental health care, accompanied by a humane rhetor ic and a sound understanding of the pernicious ef fects of long-term hosp i t a l i za t i on , but which f a i l ed to mobi l ize the necessary resources to complete the job (p rov id ing housing and supportive services for ex-pat ients) once the hospi ta ls were emptied. S o c i a l s e r v i c e cutbacks and the c u l l i n g of d i s a b i l i t y r o l l s - - a r e l a t i v e l y recent phenomenon, begun i n the s p r i n g of 1981 and accelerat ing to date. The report concludes with the caut ion: " in reviewing the contemporary causes of homelessness, i t i s important to r e a l i z e tha t the e f f e c t s of these factors may well out last the period of the i r operation."(54) One year a f ter Governor Cuomo's report , the New York State Department of Social Services submitted a report to the governor in which the fo l lowing points were made: 98 I t i s no longer poss ib le , i f i t ever was, to look for the causes of homelessness s o l e l y w i t h i n the homeless t h e m s e l v e s . C e r t a i n l y a l c o h o l i s m , drug a d d i c t i o n , or physical and mental d i s a b i l i t i e s have caused many to lose housing or f a i l to obtain i t , or have prevented them from f ind ing the services they need to maintain decent she l te r . But the sudden and dramatic increase in th is state in the numbers of homeless people whose only handicap i s poverty cannot simply be explained with reference to soc ia l pathology or personal mismanagement.(55) Three economic condit ions were offered as par t ia l explanations: 1. A large and steady decrease in the s ta te ' s low-income housing supply over the l a s t decade, pa r t i cu la r l y in New York C i t y ; 2. A sharp and pers is tent r i se in poverty during the same per iod, fueled in recent years by an unusually deep recession and corresponding unemployment; 3. The high cost of housing combined with the f a i l u re of the s ta te ' s publ ic -ass is tance shel ter allowance (before i t s increase th is year ) , to pay for even minimally decent housing. Contr ibut ing fac to rs : * Mental i l l n e s s and de ins t i t u t i ona l i za t i on * Alcoholism and alcohol abuse * Drug abuse * Physical i l l n e s s , d i s a b i l i t y and aging * Youth. (56) The problem of homelessness i s increasingly only one expression - though perhaps the most extreme one - of the nature of poverty in th is decade. In the past few years, homelessness has become less d iscr iminat ing. We have come to refer to the ent i re c l a s s , old and new by one thing they a l l lack: a home. Yet that label of convenience should not fool us into be l iev ing that we have discovered some new and d i s t i n c t problem. The many prob lems a s s o c i a t e d w i t h h o m e l e s s n e s s , though f o rm idab le , are fami l ia r . (57) F i n a l l y , Kaufman argues that homelessness represents a multidimensional human services issue which touches many facets of the modern socia l welfare system. Homelessness i s defined as "a condit ion wherein an indiv idual on a given night has no place to sleep and i s forced to be on the st reet or seek shel ter in a temporary f a c i l i t y . " ( 5 8 ) I t i s seen as a problem which has a var iety of causes and includes a mix of people with d i f fe r ing needs. 99 The pr inc ipa l conclusion of Kaufman's research epitomises the general thrust of the previous analyses: Homelessness represents the culmination of many socia l problems which have not been adequately dealt with over the years by federa l , s ta te , local housing and socia l welfare p o l i c i e s . While some people are quick to blame ' d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n ' of the menta l l y i l l and re tarded fo r the problem, others are jus t as quick to say that i t i s exc lus ive ly related to the serious shortage of affordable housing. The r e a l i t y i s that both of these and other causes as well are a l l important.(59) HOMELESSNESS RECONSIDERED * At l e a s t ten major sources of homelessness have been i den t i f i ed in C a n a d a , i n c l u d i n g : h o u s i n g a f f o r d a b i l i t y , d i s p l a c e m e n t , d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n , the lack of adequate community support serv ices , poverty, unemployment, i n s u f f i c i e n t s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e b e n e f i t s , fami ly breakdown, ind iv idual respons ib i l i t y and soc ia l a t t i tudes . * A review of the l i t e ra tu re lends support to the thesis that homelessness i s l i n k e d to ind iv idua ls ' actions and to socia l and economic condit ions which combine to produce shel ter problems for a wide range of homeless people. Under cer ta in circumstances these condit ions prec ip i ta te or t r igger homelessness, whereas at times they are re lated events which exacerbate an ex is t ing problem. * Many of the conc lus ions and g e n e r a l i s a t i o n s in the analyses of homelessness are extrapolated from l o c a l i s e d , one-time case s tudies. L i t t l e considerat ion i s given to the geographic contexts wi thin which homelessness i s const i tuted and manifest, and i t i s not c lear from the analyses whether pa r t i cu la r places or locat ions inf luence the composition or concentration of the homeless, or the way in which par t i cu la r sources of homelessness are produced and in te rac t . 100 * A matrix i l l u s t r a t e d the synergy among the sources which contr ibute to var ia t ions in the incidence of homelessness and to the composition of the homeless in spec i f i c spat ia l concentrat ions. I t was suggested from th i s framework that the condit ions and events which produce homelessness are const i tuted and become manifest at a var iety of spat ia l sca les , ind icat ing that there are important geographic considerations which have a bearing on the problems facing the homeless. The fo l lowing three chapters address these geographic issues empir ica l ly in a ser ies of re lated case examples. The f i r s t study examines economic and soc ia l condit ions which contr ibute to regional var ia t ions in the incidence of homelessness, and to the changing composi t ion of the e c o n o m i c a l l y disenfranchised homeless in Canada. 101 NOTES 1. M e t r o p o l i t a n Toronto Community Se rv i ces Department and P lann ing Department. No Place To Go: A Study of Homelessness in Metropolitan Toronto. Toronto: 1983. 2. Ib id . One of the main conclusions of the report bears repeating: "The picture that emerges of those with no f ixed abode i s of a group that i s predominantly composed of s ingle males. A somewhat alarming trend i s the increase in homeless ind iv idua ls under 25, who comprise 36% of the homeless in hostels (excluding chi ldren in f am i l i e s ) . Other groups that have been on the increase include fami l ies and s ingle women. Thus, the p ro f i l e of the homeless in Metro developed from th is study i s contrary to the popular image of th is group as being made up of men mainly from a ' sk id row' l i f e s t y l e . " 3. Metropol i tan Toronto Social Planning Counc i l . People without Homes: A Permanent Emergency. Toronto: Munic ipal i ty of Metropolitan Toronto, January M I 4. Ib id . 5. Met ropo l i tan Toronto. Task Force on Low-income Single People: Final  Report, Toronto: November 1986. The f i r s t issue addressed by the Task Force was a de f i n i t i on of the homeless or inadequately housed s ingle populat ion: "Those young and middle-aged 'homeless' and rooming house occupants, between the ages of 16 and 60, for whom hostels are not the appropriate type of accommodation but who are unable to afford rental accommodation in the pr ivate market because of the depletion of the rooming house stock, the cost of pr ivate rental apartments and the i r i n e l i g i b i l i t y for subsidised housing programs." 6. I b i d . The report also recognised, but did not address the needs of s ingle persons with psych ia t r ic h is to r ies who have been discharged into the community. 7. S i n g l e D isp laced Persons Pro ject . "The Case for Long-Term Supportive Housing", Toronto, 1983. 8. In a more recent paper en t i t l ed "From Homelessness to Home: a case for F a c i l i t a t i v e Management", the authors argue that the roots of homelessness in Toronto can be traced to economic reasons coupled with prevalent societa l responses which stigmatise the homeless and serve to perpetuate a system whereby they are considered ' v i c t i m s ' , and blamed for the i r own misfortunes. They c i t e data on the ef fects of gen t r i f i ca t i on , renovation and de-conversion in the downtown core, and the impact of de - i ns t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on po l i c i es which have resul ted in the poor becoming more economically disenfranchised and s o c i a l l y marginal ised. Single Displaced Persons Group. Toronto, May 1987. 9. A. Murray and G. F a l l i s . Housing the Homeless and Poor. Toronto: Univers i ty of Toronto Press. Forthcoming. 102 10. There were two addit ional contr ibut ions to the Canadian submissions to the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless in which I was d i rec t l y involved. See H. P. Oberlander and Arthur L. F a l l i c k , Homelessness and the  Homeless: Response and Innovations. A Canadian Contr ibut ion to the IYSH. Vancouver, The Centre fo r Human Settlements, The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1988. Oberlander and F a l l i c k , Shelter or Homes? A Contr ibut ion to the Search for Solut ions to Homelessness in Canada. Vancouver, The Centre for Human Settlements, The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1987. 11. Peddie i d e n t i f i e s a somewhat s i m i l a r l i s t from a review of the 1 i te ra ture : i . Cyc l i ca l and chronic unemployment; i i . Inadequacies in the welfare system; i i i . The lack of affordable housing; i v . De ins t i t u t i ona l i za t ion (par t i cu la r l y among the mentally i l l ) ; v. Cr ises generated by family breakdown, marital d isputes, d iscr iminat ion in the housing market and landlord/tenant re la t i ons ; v i . Alcohol ism, drug and substance abuse; v i i . The 'warehousing' of people in the emergency shel ter /hoste l system. The pr inc ipa l sources used by Peddie inc lude: a. J . Ward. "Housing the Low-income Sing les : A Community Development Approach", Canadian Housing, vo l .3 ,No.2 , Summer 1986; b. Metropolitan Toronto Community Services Department, F inal Report of the Subcommittee on the Housing Needs of the Homeless Populat ion, Toronto, 1986; c . Me t ropo l i t an Toronto Community Se rv i ces Department and Planning Department. No Place To Go: A Study of Homelessness in Metropolitan  Toronto. Toronto:1983. d. Ontar io Task Force on Roomers, Boarders and Lodgers. Housing for Roomers, Boarders and Lodgers: the 'State of Knowledge""^ Toronto: Province of Ontario, Min is t ry of Housing, December 1986. e. Metropolitan Toronto Community Services Department. Task Force on Low-income Single People: Final Report, Toronto: November 1986. f. Toronto, Mayor s Action Task Force on Discharged Psych ia t r ic Pat ien ts , F inal Report, (the Gerstein Report), Apr i l 1984. g . Lamontagne, Y v e s . e t . a l . "Les Jeunes I t i n e r a n t s de M o n t r e a l " , Percept ion, vo l .4 ,No .3 , Summer 1986. 12. Kim Hopper, Ezra Susser and Sarah Conover. "Economies of Makeshift: De indus t r ia l i za t ion and Homelessness in New York C i t y " , Urban Anthropology, Vol.14 No.1-3, 1985. According to Peter Marcuse, th is approach has been a r t i c u l a t e d most f u l l y i n the Uni ted States by members of the Reagan administrat ion (notably the Pres ident ) , and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As an i l l u s t r a t i o n , President Reagan made the fo l lowing statement on ABC's Good Morning America on January 31, 1984: "What we have found in th is country, and we're more aware of i t now, i s one problem that we've had, even in the best of t imes, and th is i s people who are sleeping on the grates, the homeless who are homeless you might say by cho ice. " As Marcuse noted, " I t ' s always best to quote the President verbatim; one 103 might not bel ieve i t unless one i s able to read the d i rec t quote". Not to be outdone, short ly a f ter these remarks were made, Edwin Mees opined that those who resort to using soup kitchens do so "because the food i s free and tha t ' s eas ier than paying for i t " . Peter Marcuse. " Iso la t ing the Homeless", Paper presented at the I n te rna t i ona l Conference 'C i t y Renewal through Par tnersh ips ' , Glasgow, Scot land, Ju ly 7, 1987. 13. Na t iona l Campaign f o r the Homeless. "Homelessness in the European Community", Report on the F i r s t EEC Commission Seminar on Poverty and Homelessness held in Cork, I re land, September 13-15, 1985. 14. Ib id . The seminar arose from concern that homelessness existed throughout the member states causing profound misery and hardship to those af fected, that urgent measures were required to a l l ev i a te the condit ions endured by the homeless, and in the l ong - te rm , p o l i c i e s must be devised to el iminate homelessness. Delegates from voluntary groups and government reported common problems: unemployment, housing shortages in the c i t i e s , dec l in ing socia l benef i ts , and growth in ev ic t ions (the most severely h i t group seeming to be young people). The convict ion that government bears ult imate respons ib i l i t y for the wel l -being of i t s c i t i zens was manifest in the resolut ions reached by the twelve nat ions. In c a l l i n g for a European pol icy for the homeless, Senator Brendan Ryan commented, "It seems that , j us t as media wr i ters and soc ia l s c i en t i s t s rediscovered homelessness in i re!and in the 1960's, so we are now discovering homelessness in europe as a whole. There i s now a substant ial body of evidence to suggest that homelessness ex is ts throughout the European member states and on a h o r r i f i c s ca l e . " 15. Marcuse, " Iso la t ing The Homeless". 16. Kim Hopper, Ezra Susser and Sarah Conover. "Economies of Makeshift: D e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n and Homelessness in New York C i t y " , Urban  Anthropology, Vo l .14 , No.1-3, 1985. The psych ia t r ic var ia t ion attempts to explain a soc ia l niche by invoking the t r a i t s of i t s occupants, but as Hopper e t . a l . point out, i t ignores the s ign i f i can t time lag between the major waves of de ins t i t u t i ona l i za t i on (1960's) and the appearance of large numbers of psych ia t r i ca l l y disabled on the s t r e e t s ( 1 9 7 0 ' s ) . Th is approach a l so neglects the ro le of socia l context, other than "af tercare" in def in ing the prac t ica l consequences of disorder or d i s a b i l i t y . 17. Thomas J . Main. "The Homeless in New York", The Publ ic In terest , No.72, 1983. 18. The report , usual ly referred to as the Keener Report, was e n t i t l e d : "Chronic S i tuat ional Dependency: Long Term Residents in a Shelter for Men", New York: Human Resources Administ rat ion, November 1982. 19. Main, "The Homeless in New York". 20. Thomas Main. "What We Know About The Homeless". 1988 Source Unknown. 21. E l len Bassuk. " The Homelessness Problem", S c i e n t i f i c American v o l . 251, Ju ly 1984. 104 22. E l len Bassuk, L. Rubin and A. Laur ia t . " Is Homelessness a Mental Health Problem?", American Journal of Psychiat ry , 141: 1546-1550, 1984. 23. See for example, Krauthammer, "For the Homeless, Asylum", The Washington  Post , January 4, 1985. 24. Hope and Young. Faces of Homelessness, p.20. 25. These est imates u s u a l l y i nc lude those s u f f e r i n g from a l c o h o l i s m . According to S te f1 , "While the re la t i ve dominance of alcoholism among the homeless may be waning, there i s s t i l l a group of hard-core sk id row chronic deter iorated a lcoho l ics whose l i f e - s t y l e centers around the procurement and consumption of a lcoho l . This i s the group of homeless men, general ly middle-aged and o lder , who were the subject of considerable research attent ion in the pas t . They were f requen t l y c h a r a c t e r i z e d as " d i s a f f i l i a t e d " , disenfranchised ind iv idua ls lacking any kinds of socia l contact. Mary E. S te f1 . "The New Homeless: A National Perspect ive" , in Bingham e t . a l . The  Homeless in Contemporary Society Sage Pub l ica t ions , 1988. See a l so , Howard M. Bahr. Skid Row: An Introduction To D i s a f f i l i a t i o n , New York:Oxford Univers i ty Press" 1973; and Pamela J . Fischer and Wil l iam R. Breakey, "Homelessness and Mental Health: An Overview," International Journal  of Mental Health, Vo l .14, Winter 1985-86. 26. E l l e n Bassuk. "Homelessness: The Need for Mental Health Advocates". Commentary, Hospital and Community Psychiat ry , Vo l .35 , No.9, September 1984. This ed i t ion contains a special sect ion on homelessness which has one of the best discussions of homelessness and mental health issues found to date. See "De ins t i t u t i ona l i za t ion and the Homeless Mentally 111", H. Richard Lamb. Lamb was the edi tor of The Task Force Report of the American Psych ia t r i c Associat ion on the Homeless Mentally 111, which contains two comprehensive l i t e ra tu re reviews on th is sub-group by Leona L. Bachrach, and Anthony Arce and Michael Vergare. 27. E l len Baxter and Kim Hopper. "The New Mendicancy: Homeless in New York C i t y " , American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 52, Ju ly 1982. 28. Hopper e t . a l . use examples of hunger and the worsening condit ion of the hab i t a t of the poor as two i n d i c a t o r s of tenuousness. "Economies of Makeshift" 29. Ib id . 30. Marcuse, " Iso la t ing the Homeless". The a r t i c l e has some very c r i t i c a l comments concerning how housing i s perceived to be re lated to homelessness by Ronald Reagan: "Pure s t u p i d i t y c o n t r i b u t e s to the inadequacy of the governmental response. From a Pres ident ia l press conference: 'I j us t read th i s morning in the paper about a needy family in New York that i s being put up in a ho te l , and the cost to welfare jus t for the rent of the hotel room i s $37,000 a year . And I wonder why somebody doesn't bu i ld them a house for $37,000.' Marcuse also notes that the number of poor people in the U.S. i s growing rap id ly . 105 31. Marcuse, " Iso la t ing the Homeless". 32. See for example, Jon Erickson and Charles Wilhelm, Housing the Homeless, Center for Urban Pol icy Research, The State Univers i ty of New Jersey, 1986, for a wide range of a r t i c l e s and a comprehensive bibl iography. 33. R ichard Freeman and Brian H a l l . Permanent Homelessness in America? National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, Ma., September 1986. 34. I n t e rna t i ona l Federa t ion f o r Housing and Planning. Homelessness in  Indust r ia l i sed Countr ies, Report by the Standing Committee "Housing", October 1987. 35. Ib id . 36. Jane Morton. "Causes and Solut ions: A Cross National Perspect ive" . Paper presented at the I n t e r n a t i o n a l C o n f e r e n c e ' C i t y Renewal Through Par tnersh ips ' , Glasgow, Scot land, Ju ly 7, 1987 37. Greve. Homelessness in London. 38. C.H.A.S. Document, "A Survey of the Cathol ic Housing Aid Soc ie ty " , 1968. See a l so , Shelter Progress Report, 1987, a special ed i t ion by Shelter to mark the I n t e r n a t i o n a l Year of S h e l t e r for the Homeless; and Martin Evans. "Diagnoses, Prevention and Pos i t i ve Action - A Programme for the Homeless", Paper presented at the I n t e rna t i ona l Conference 'C i t y Renewal Through Par tnersh ips ' , Glasgow, Scot land, Ju ly 7, 1987. 39. Evans, "Diagnoses, Prevention and Pos i t i ve Ac t ion " . 40. Helen Aus te rber ry and Sophie Watson. Housing and Homelessness: a  Feminist Perspect ive, London: Routledge and Kegan Pau l , 1986. See a l so , Women on the Margins: A Study of Single Women's Housing Problems, London, UK: Housing Research Group, The Ci ty Un ivers i ty , 1983. 41. Hoch from personal correspondence and a presentation del ivered at an International Conference, "New Partnerships - B u i l d i n g fo r the F u t u r e " , Ottawa, September 13-16, 1987. 42. Cited in a forthcoming publ icat ion Housing the Homeless and Poor: New  Relat ionships in the Welfare State, by Alex Murray and George Fa l l i s (eds . ) , York Un ivers i ty , Toronto. 43 . Mar jo r i e Hope and James Young. The Faces of Homelessness, Lexington Books, Toronto, 1987. Their study of London corroborates the impressions of o ther obse rve rs : government delays in rent subs id ies, cuts in housing benef i ts for s ingle unemployed people, a growth in i l l e g a l ev i c t i ons , and a surge in g e n t r i f i c a t i o n , at the expense of low-income housing. (See for example p. 263). 44. Chester Hartman, "Why They Have No Homes", The Progressive, March 1985. 106 See a l so , C. Hartman, D. Keating and R. Le Gates. Displacement: How To Fight I t , Berkley, C a l i f . : National Housing Law Pro jec t , 1982. 45. Hartman. The Progressive, p.27. 46. Kim Hopper and J i l l Hamberg, "The Making of America's Homeless: from Skid Row to the New Poor", in C r i t i c a l Perspectives on Housing, R. Bra t t , C. Hartman, and A. Meyerson, (eds . ) , Ph i lade lph ia : Temple Un ivers i t y P r e s s , 1986. 47. Ib id . 48. Ib id . 49. Ib id . 50. F. Stevens Redburn, and Terry F. Buss, " Beyond She l te r " , C i t i e s : The International Quarterly on Urban P o l i c y , Vo l . 4 , N o . l , February 1987, Special Issue: Shelter and Homelessness. 51. Ib id . p.69. 52. Ib id . 53. U.S. Conference of Mayors The Growth of Hunger, Homelessness and  Poverty in American C i t i e s in 1985: A 25 Ci ty Survey, January, 1986, United States Conference of Mayors. 54. Mario Cuomo, "1933/1983 - Never A g a i n " , Report to the Nat iona l Governors' A s s o c i a t i o n Task Force on the Homeless. A lbany: Execu t i ve Chambers, 1983. 55. C.A. Pera les. (Commissioner), "Homelessness in New York State" Report to the Governor and the Leg is la tu re , New York State Dept. of Social Serv ices, October 1984. 56. The repor t suggests that youth (both independent and in f am i l i e s ) , represent the fas tes t growing population of the homeless. Some of t h i s development i s c l e a r l y r e l a t e d to the inc rease in family breakup, in chi ldbear ing by young and inexperienced parents, and in poverty. Some i s re lated to ch i l d abuse and other family violence which may be increasing or may be simply better understood and documented in recent years. 57. Ib id . 58. Nancy Kaufman. "Homelessness: A Comprehensive Pol icy Approach", Urban  and Social Change Review. Vo l . 17, 1984. 59. Ib id . 107 CHAPTER FIVE: ECONOMIC PRE-CONDITIONS FOR THE EMERGENCE OF HOMELESSNESS 107a This case example examines trends in three related economic factors which are considered pre-condit ions for the emergence of homelessness among those on the margins of the economic mainstream in Canada. I t extends the argument made at the outset, and i l l u s t r a t e d in the matrices in chapter 4, that homelessness i s related to a combination of economic problems which inc lude, in ter a l i a : * Poverty; * Welfare dependence and inadequate socia l assistance benef i ts ; * Unemployment and underemployment. While any one of these problems can have devas ta t ing e f f e c t s on an i n d i v i d u a l , a family or an ent i re community, i t i s demonstrated here that these problems are commonly in te r - re la ted and compounded. Homelessness in Canada can resu l t from a range of socia l and economic problems, for ind iv idua ls and fam i l i es , for communities and for society as a whole. The current concern with homelessness re f l ec ts in part an increased publ ic and professional awareness of the issue which in some measure can be at t r ibuted to the designation of 1987 as the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. However, an examination of h i s to r i ca l condit ions reveals that homelessness can be t raced, at least in par t , to economic condi t ions. I t i s not the purpose here to c l a im tha t these economic c o n d i t i o n s necessar i ly cause, or by themselves account for spat ia l var ia t ions in the incidence or persistence of homelessness in Canada. They i l l u s t r a t e general economic trends which were prevalent across the country at spec i f i c t imes, and suggest at least some correspondence with the changing composition of the homeless in recent years. 108 Data are presented to show that poverty, unemployment and inadequate soc ia l assistance have been pers is tent and at times pervasive problems in Canada, and that the i r e f fects have varied both regional ly and in terms of those most af fected. During times of economic c r i s i s , such as occurred during the depression of the 1930's, poverty and unemployment were l inked to high leve ls of homelessness. Since there was only a rudimentary system of publ ic assistance during the f i r s t hal f of the century, the onus was on ind iv idua ls to support themselves and the i r f am i l i es . This often enta i led the heads of households l e a v i n g homes and communities to search for employment opportunit ies in other parts of the country, and contributed to la rge-sca le in te r -p rov inc ia l migration during periods of economic recession. By the 1950' s and 1960 ' s , a s o c i a l we l fa re ' s a f e t y ne t ' had been establ ished to mit igate against the economic c r i ses such as had been produced during the Depression, and to address the poverty and sub-standard l i v i n g condit ions which prevai led.(1) While th is did not el iminate homelessness, with the commitment to socia l welfare establ ished and a buoyant economy, condit ions general ly improved throughout the country during the la te 1960's and 1970's. Nevertheless, a s ign i f i can t number of Canadians continued to l i v e in poverty and experience unemployment, and homelessness pers is ted. Recent suggestions that homelessness i s once again on the r i se in Canada are supported to some extent by examining the trends in the incidence of poverty and unemployment which resul ted from the poor economic condit ions associated with the recessions of the 1970's, and which have continued into the 1980's. The argument i s corroborated by examining recent trends in the number of people re ly ing on income ass is tance, and analyses of the adequacy of income assistance rates across the country. 109 The emergence of the welfare state in Canada did much to ameliorate the economic cond i t i ons which con t r i bu ted to homelessness. However, the recurrence of homelessness on a s ign i f i can t scale has occurred at the same time as the country i s experiencing increased leve ls of poverty, high rates of unemployment, and in pa r t i cu la r , a general weakening of the welfare consensus in the 1980's. As a resu l t , those on the margins of the economic mainstream face at least an increased r isk of homelessness. This claim i s supported by examining the provis ion of income assistance in the d i f ferent p r o v i n c i a l j u r i s d i c t i o n s , and i l l u s t r a t i n g the inadequacies of t h i s assistance among low-income groups in Ontario and B r i t i s h Columbia. Regional and temporal var ia t ions in the economic condit ions i den t i f i ed support the argument that while homelessness in Canada i s pr imar i ly manifest at the urban s c a l e , in community and i n d i v i d u a l problems, i t i s not fundamentally a problem OF c i t i e s . Although the analysis r e l i e s on aggregate data, i t shows that the spat ia l impact of these trends i s l o c a l . In th is context, the geographer, not unl ike the socia l planner, i s concerned with disaggregating these data, demonstrating the loca l i sed impl icat ions on the l i ves of the homeless, and ident i fy ing the factors which are d i rec t ing the course of homelessness in communities. (2) HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA: THE EARLY YEARS In the ear ly decades of th is century, at t i tudes toward the homeless, and pa r t i cu la r l y the poor, were grounded in the 19th century be l i e f that poverty was a product of indiv idual f a i l i n g rather than of the socia l or economic s t ructure. As Guest suggests: 110 Att i tudes toward the poor and explanations of poverty in the f i r s t two decades of th is century s t i l l re f lec ted the nineteenth century b e l i e f that poverty was not a product of the social or economic environment. Poverty was explained in i nd i v i dua l / moral rather than economic terms-i t re f lec ted def ic ienc ies in the i n d i v i d u a l , and therefore any assistance given tended to be Social Darwinist in s ty le and punit ive in in tent . I t was l e f t to pr ivate cha r i t i es and mun ic ipa l i t i es , and assistance was given on an emergency not continuing b a s i s . With the p reva len t va lues of ind iv idual ism and the ethos of conservative free enterpr ise f l ou r i sh ing , l i t t l e e f fec t i ve community response to poverty and substandard housing condit ions emerged, and at t i tudes toward the poor were disparaging.(3) A review of homelessness in Canada between 1900 and 1960 by Hulchanski and Bacher demonstrates from archival research that the federal government's response to th is issue retained some of those views. The sub-headings in the i r study i l l u s t r a t e the dominant government response in re la t ion to the socia l and economic condit ions of the times: 1. Avoiding Income Support and Closing Lodging Houses: 1900-1930. 2. The Great Depression: Internment Camps and "Maintaining the Work E th ic " 3. Resis t ing the Rise of the Welfare State during WWII 4. Resis t ing Social Housing Programs During the 1940's and 1950's.(4) Their review of the extent and nature of homelessness dur ing Canada's formative years suggests that unemployment, poverty and substandard housing condit ions were h i s t o r i c a l l y the most common prec ip i tants of homelessness in Canada. While unemployment tended to be c y c l i c a l , poverty and inadequate housing which in some areas resulted in slum condi t ions, were more endemic: The C i t y of Toronto c losed some 500 c e l l a r dwel l ings, placarded 390 homes, and demolished 100 houses ( in 1911). By 1915, i t had shut another 1,007... In Vancouver and New Westminster, publ ic health o f f i c i a l s ordered the destruct ion of whole Oriental communities. In Winnipeg, pub l i c hea l th inspectors boasted they had solved the c i t y ' s housing problems "by dint of stern repression and frequent p rosecu t ions " . Hami l ton ' s pub l i c hea l th o f f i c e r . . . c a l l ed fo r a corps of i nspec to rs to go about systematical ly " looking for t r o u b l e " . . . ( b e l i e v i n g tha t ) only the "drunken, l azy and improvident" experienced homelessness.(5) 111 The authors t race the l i n k s between homelessness and major economic c r i s e s . For example, the severe depression of 1913-1915 produced one of a number of unemployment c r i ses in Canada.(6) Since there was no provis ion for unemployment assistance during th is per iod, f am i l i es e s s e n t i a l l y had to provide for themselves. As the western f ron t ie r was opening up, the i r search often led them to the resource industr ies as migrant workers, and to the skid row areas which grew up to accommodate them. There i s no re l i ab le estimate of the number of homeless people in Canada pr ior to the Great Depression. I t was only as a resu l t of the devastating impact of the Depression and i t s aftermath that at least some ind icat ion of the extent of the problem can be found. To compl icate matters, the Depression was considered to be an economic problem, and as a r e s u l t , the p l igh t of the estimated 100,000 homeless unemployed males who were d r i f t i n g across the country was not considered in re la t ion to the sub-standard housing condit ions which prevai led during th is per iod. Nevertheless, i t would appear from the sources avai lab le that homelessness in the 1930's and 1940's consisted of at least three economic dimensions which have endured to the present: unemployment, poverty, and inadequate social assistance.(7) THE WELFARE STATE 'SAFETY NET' The Canadian welfare system has i t s roots in England's Elizabethan Poor Law Leg is la t ion of 1601.(8) The core tenet of the Poor Law was the assumption of publ ic respons ib i l i t y for r e l i e f of dependent persons through loca l parishes which acted as the equ i va len t of modern-day munic ipa l governments. Unt i l the 1920's, socia l assistance in Canada c lose ly resembled the Poor Law system, but as a resu l t of the Great Depression, when almost 112 25% of the labour fo rce was out of work, and an estimated 15% of the population re l i ed on some form of income ass i s tance , the s i t u a t i o n was fundamentally a l te red . Economic pressures gradually moved the provis ion of income assistance from a pr iva te , chari ty-based system to a publ ic ly-funded one. S ince 1927 , a s e r i e s of p ieces of l e g i s l a t i o n has resul ted in the evolut ion of the contemporary soc ia l welfare system: 1. 1927 OLD AGE PENSIONS ACT 2. 1941 UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE 3. 1943 FAMILY ASSISTANCE 4. 1951 OLD AGE SECURITY ACT, OLD AGE ASSISTANCE ACT, BLIND PERSONS ACT 5. 1954 DISABLED PERSONS ACT 6. 1956 UNEMPLOYMENT ASSISTANCE ACT 7. 1966 CANADA ASSISTANCE PLAN (9) The Canada Assistance Plan attempted to consol idate the previous "patchwork q u i l t " of independent schemes into a more comprehensive arrangement of income assis tance. The l eg i s l a t i on was enacted because of the need to stimulate the economy rather than as a d i rec t attack on the socia l condi t ions, and despite the recommendations of the socia l welfare pioneers of the 1930's, pa r t i cu la r l y the Committee on Post-War Reconstruction.(10) Accord ing to Mishra: The post-war welfare state rested on two p i l l a r s - one Keynesian and the other Beveridgian. Keynesianism stood for the government's a b i l i t y to manage the economy from the demand side in order to ensure a high level of economic a c t i v i t y and f u l l employment. The Beveridgian notion of socia l insurance against the hazards of the market economy, was a social 'model' which formulated c lear p r inc ip les of state intervent ion and respons ib i l i t y for maintaining minimum standards of l i f e . The hallmark of th is approach was a network of universal and comprehensive social programmes providing adequate benefi ts to a l l without any stigma of char i ty and as a matter of the r ights of c i t i zensh ip in a modern democratic community. An assumption 113 common to both Keynes and Bever idge was that the forms of s ta te intervent ion and service provision would complement the market economy. The government was to be i nvo l ved in the equitable d i s t r i bu t ion of services and programs, l e a v i n g product ion in the hands of p r i v a t e enterpr ise.(11) Ontario was typ ica l of the way soc ia l welfare emerged in Canada. As Dear and Wolch suggest, act ion on socia l pol icy in the period between 1946-50 was minimal, although a s ign i f i can t amount of planning was taking place which would be f e l t l a t e r . (12) The 19501 s was a period of rapid accelerat ion in the provis ion of socia l services and intensive capi ta l investment in physical f a c i l i t i e s . In the f i ve years between 1957 and 1962, there was a sharp r i se in federa l funding of s o c i a l p o l i c i e s , and the p r o v i n c i a l government responded by bui ld ing up the human resources and socia l services network. However, the Canadian Assistance Plan which in 1965 formalized the federal funding of welfare programs, had a tremendous impact on the development of socia l pol icy in a l l the provinces: The " f u l l f lowering" of Ontario as a service state occurred between '67 and '71 . During the 25 years fo l lowing WWII, the ro le of the state sh i f ted from that of minimal regulat ion ( in the fo r t i es ) to that of investor-bui lder ( in the f i f t i e s ) to tha t of p rov ide r of s e r v i c e s ( in the s i x t i es ) . (13 ) Mishra extends th is analysis to the national and internat ional l e v e l s , arguing that there was a widespread acceptance of the idea of the welfare state in Anglo-American countries during the 1950's and 1960's, but that the consensus broke down in the 1970's and has contributed to the problem of homelessness in Canada in the 1980's. He suggests that a number of problems emerged to undermine the welfare s ta te : The broad consensus around the mixed economy and the welfare state weakened a good deal as the 70's wore on. As Keynesianism and other socia l theories of the centre, which served e i ther as a pract ica l guide to s ta te i n t e r v e n t i o n or as i t s i n t e l l e c t u a l u n d e r p i n n i n g l o s t c r e d i b i l i t y , radical c r i t i que of the welfare state (from the r i gh t , l e f t 114 and feminists) gained in prominence. In pa r t i cu la r , the ideas, analyses and prescr ipt ions of the new r i g h t made a good deal of headway in v i r t u a l l y a l l western countr ies.(14) In th is view, the strong economic growth which had occurred in the three decades af ter the war, and which bolstered Keynsian economic theory, rapid ly disappeared with the economic stagnation and high i n f l a t i on of the ear ly 1970 ' s . The subsequent decade was marked by r e c e s s i o n s , l e v e l s of unemployment which para l le led the Depression, and continuous budget d e f i c i t s which increased national and prov inc ia l debts, and ushered in a c r i s i s in confidence in the a b i l i t y of the state to manage the mixed economy.(15) Three ind icators are used here to co r robora te t h i s argument. The f o l l o w i n g data suggest that while economic condit ions general ly improved across the country during the 1960's and 1970's, low income, poverty and unemployment continued to pose problems for those on the fr inges of the workforce. I t i s shown subsequently that leve ls of socia l assistance have been i nsu f f i c i en t to counteract these problems and therefore at least the r isk of homelessness. The data i l l u s t r a t e that the economic pre-condit ions for the emergence of homelessness varied regional ly and among the demographic groups most af fected. ECONOMIC PRE-CONDITIONS FOR THE EMERGENCE OF HOMELESSNESS Var iat ions in Income Dis t r ibu t ion The la te 1960's and 1970's were periods in which Canadian fami l ies and unattached ind iv idua ls experienced r i s i n g average incomes, but th is trend has been reversed in the 1980's.(16) Real income decreased during the ear ly 1980's, resu l t ing in a s ign i f i can t increase in those Canadians o f f i c i a l l y categorised as low-income. The gap between r i ch and poor i s continuing to 115 widen, p a r t i c u l a r l y as the average incomes of low- and middle-income Canadians decl ine in th is decade. The fo l lowing s t a t i s t i c s i l l u s t r a t e some the general trends: * In 1986, the bottom 20% of the population earned 3.5% of a l l income compared with 43.3% earned by the top q u i n t i l e . * Famil ies in each qu in t i l e had lower average incomes in 1986 than in 1980, with those in the bottom two qu in t i l es suf fer ing the largest percentage decreases. * The average earnings of women in the mid-1980's were almost the same in real terms as 1977, whereas average earnings for men have declined s tead i ly during the same time i n t e r v a l . Prager (1988), provides a more h i s to r i ca l overview of Canadian income data: * In 1951, tota l income for the lowest qu in t i l e was 4.4%, and had only r isen to 4.5% in 1984. In 1969, 31.8% of income among those in the lowest qu in t i l e came from earnings, while 50.4% came from government t rans fers ; by 1984, the percentage of income from wages f e l l to 24.5%, and government t ransfers rose to 62.4%. The decl ine in earnings i s even more dramatic among those in the second lowest q u i n t i l e : in 1969, government t ransfers accounted for only 15.7% of tota l income, and earnings for 64.6%; in 1984, in cont rast , government t ransfers accounted for 34.2% while earnings were 47.2%. The data for the second qu in t i l e doubtless includes few members of the entrenched underc lass and more of the working poor who are more responsive to economic opportuni t ies. One might hypothesize that the increasing dependence of th is qu in t i l e on government t ransfer payments may po in t to the fa i l u re of the economy to provide su f f i c i en t numbers of adequate jobs.(17) 116 Average Income for Famil ies and Unattached Individuals:1969-1986 AVERASE OCaC OF UNATTACHED PCIVrDUALS. CONSTANT (1908] DOLLARS, 1369-1986 TCDOOO laooo laooo 14000 " " " B B B 7i A A h 7 i m •'12000 - ^0000 Source: National Council on Welfare, Welfare in Canada: The Tangled Safety  Net, Ottawa, National Council of Welfare, November, 1987. 117 V a r i a t i o n s i n P o v e r t y Trends P o v e r t y i n Canada d e c l i n e d s u b s t a n t i a l l y d u r i n g the l a t e 1960's and thr o u g h o u t the 1970's. As the f o l l o w i n g graph i l l u s t r a t e s , i n th e l a t e 1960's more than 20% o f f a m i l i e s and o v e r 40% o f u n a t t a c h e d i n d i v i d u a l s were l i v i n g below the p o v e r t y l i n e . By 1980, t h e s e p r o p o r t i o n s had d e c r e a s e d s i g n i f i c a n t l y (12.4% and 39.5% r e s p e c t i v e l y ) . F a m i l i e s and Unattached I n d i v i d u a l s L i v i n g i n Poverty:1968-1984 PERCENTAGE BELOW POVERTY LIME 50 T 30--40--20--10--04— 1968 1970 1972 —I — 1974 ...|. 197B 19B0 1982 YEAR SOURCE: Statistics Canada - Catalo^uo 13-207 (1381), 13-207 (1982). 13-206 (1083) N .B , This chart uses 1DG9 based Stullsllcs Cumida Low Incomo Cul-uffa-1978 bused statistics not nvuiluble. 118 Canada's to ta l low-income population grew steadi ly throughout the 1970's, but the composition of the poor underwent in terest ing changes: * The 'working poor' have declined steadi ly over the years both in absolute and re la t i ve terms. In 1973, there were 513,400 working poor households, representing 9% of a l l young family un i t s . By 1977 there were 425,800, const i tu t ing 6%. As a resu l t , the proportion of a l l poor family units who were working poor declined from 60% in 1973 to 47% by 1977. However, * The number of 'other poor' fami l ies - those unable to earn more than hal f the i r income by working - increased from 340,900 (5.9%) in 1973 to 484,500 (7.2%) by the la te 1970's. The other poor are now the predominant group among the poverty populat ion. * The number and percentage of 'near poor' family uni ts - those with incomes above S t a t i s t i c s Canada's low-income cutof fs but below the Senate Committee on Poverty 's poverty l i ne - have increased over time and at a faster rate than the poor. Their numbers jumped by 42% between 1973 and 1977. By 1980, the economic recession had h i t Canada s i g n i f i c a n t l y . With the onset of the recession in the 1980's, the steady decl ine in the number of poor people ended and a steady i nc l i ne began (which would be the dominant trend un t i l the middle of the decade). Each day in 1982 and 1983, 1,100 men, women and chi ldren were added to the number of poor people (Canadians with incomes below the poverty l i ne increased from 3.5 to 4.3 m i l l i o n , a 23% inc rease in 2 y e a r s ) . Three groups were pa r t i cu la r l y hard h i t : young fami l ies (heads under 25); young unattached ind iv idua ls and female headed fami l ies (mostly s ingle parents).(18) 119 Famil ies and Unattached Individuals L iv ing in Poverty: 1980-1986 PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES BELOW THE POVERTY LINE. 1980-1966 11-%aa isai ises ian I S M I M S isse PERCEMTASE OF UNATTACHED INDIVIDUALS BELOW THE POVERTY LINE. 1960-1966 42r %S0 1 9 U 1 9 8 2 1 9 8 3 1 9 M 1 9 8 3 1988 Source: National Council on Welfare, Welfare in Canada: The Tangled Safety Net, Ottawa, National Council of Welfare, November, 1987. 120 The most recent data avai lab le indicate that despite recent economic improvements, most notably in the reduction of those unemployed, the number and percentage of poor Canadians have been higher throughout the 1980's than at the beginning of the decade: * 3.7 m i l l i on Canadians (14.9%) remain poor. This includes 12.3% of a l l fami l ies and 34.3% of unattached ind iv iduals (38.5% unattached women, 29.2% unattached men). * 38.7% of fami l ies headed by women are poor compared to 9% led by men. The poverty rate for ch i ldren in female- led, one-parent fami l ies ranges from a high of 76.4% in New Brunswick to a ' low' of 49.8% in Prince Edward Is land. * More than hal f of low-income fami l ies are working poor: 55.7% are headed by someone in the labour force and 26.7% by a year-round worker. By contrast 61.1% of poor unattached ind iv idua ls are not in the labour force (many are e l d e r l y ) . * There has been a ' feminizat ion of poverty 1 in the sense that women face a much higher r i sk of poverty than men and make up a larger percentage of the poor. 56.1% of a l l low income Canadians are women (56.4% of low-income people between 16 and 64 years of age); 71.7% of the e lder ly poor are women (82.3% of unattached e l d e r l y w i th low incomes) . However, the feminizat ion of poverty has not increased during the 1980's. * Poor fami l ies which re ly on government t ransfer payments (old age pensions, unemployment insurance and socia l assistance) rose from 43% in 1969 to 55.5% in 1986, wi th a cor responding dec l i ne in the propor t ion that count employment earnings as the i r chief source of income (from 50.9% in 1969 to 37.8% in 1986). The p ropor t ion of unattached ind iv idua ls who get most of the i r income from government t ransfers has changed very l i t t l e (57.8% to 58.1%). * The real success story i s the reduction in poverty among Canada's e lde r l y . In 1980, 61.5% of unattached seniors were below the poverty l i n e . By 1986, 42.7% had low incomes. The poverty rate for fami l ies with heads 65 or older decl ined from 41.4% in 1969 to 14.2% in 1980, and to 9.5% in 1986. This i s due to improvements in the retirement income system, such as federal guaranteed income supplement for the low-income e lder ly and the maturation of the Canada and Quebec Pension Plans.(19) An ind icat ion of regional var ia t ions in the incidence of poverty during 1986 are displayed below by province and by community s i z e . 121 Famil ies and Unattached Individuals Below Poverty Line By Province: 1986 PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES BELOW THE POVERTY LINE, BY PROVINCE. 1986 Source: National Council of Welfare. Poverty Pro f i l e 1988, Ottawa, National Council of Welfare, Apr i l 1988. 122 Famil ies and Unattached Individuals Below Poverty Line By Community: 1986 PERCENTAGE OF FAMILIES BELOW THE POVERTY LINE. BY SIZE OF COMMUNITY, lsae Mr 13-• 12.8 12-ii-1Q1 una«r 30. 000 ruri.1 PERCENTAGE OF UNATTACHED INDIVIDUALS BELOW THE POVERTY LINE. BY SIZE OF COWUNTrY. 1986 40T 34. 32.9 30.^ 3C-0OO- una«r 99.399 30,000 rur»l Source: National Council of Welfare. Poverty P ro f i l e 1988, Ottawa,- National Council of Welfare, Apr i l 1988. 123 Var iat ions in Unemployment Rates Drover and Hulchanski character ise the s i tuat ion of the unemployed in Canada which i s relevant to a geographic invest igat ion of homelessness: I t i s now recognised that there are two kinds of unemployed in an urban economy. One group i s comprised of the mobile unemployed who can move to a new locat ion i f jobs are not l o c a l l y ava i lab le . Many urban areas have seen a great deal of outmigration of the 25 - 40 year old group, i . e . f am i l y age a d u l t s . Th is can be a pa r t i cu la r l y serious problem for smaller communities where there i s a great deal of chronic unemployment, since they lose the heart of the i r productive labour pool . The second group i s the chronic unemployed, who are in a sense, captive wi th in the urban community. Today, the chronic urban unemployed are increasingly comprised of three groups: the young; s i n g l e - p a r e n t s , u s u a l l y women; and older v/orkers displaced from the labour force. National and prov inc ia l socia l welfare nets have been slow to adjust to the new r e a l i t i e s in the changing scope and nature of the urban unemployed. The issue i s not simply jobs, but what kind of jobs we are get t ing. From 1973 to 1983, almost a l l of the two m i l l i on new jobs created by Canada's economy were in the service sector , many of them part-t ime or temporary.(20) Unemployment trends between 1976-1988 are shown below. Regional var ia t ions in unemployment rates have been remarkably consistent for decades, with rates in A t lan t i c Canada, Quebec and B r i t i s h Columbia usual ly exceeding those in Ontario and the P r a i r i e s . However, Ostry and Zaidi have noted that when overal l unemployment in Canada i n c r e a s e s , i t increases more in high unemployment regions, the duration i s higher in these regions and so also i s the incidence of long-term unemployment.(21) They also suggests that o f f i c i a l unemployment rates are not an adequate ind icator of labour-market d is t ress since lower-than-average par t i c ipa t ion rates are often signs of hidden unemployment or underemployment. Unemployment rates varied considerably across the country between 1976 and 1986, but the overal l trend was toward higher ra tes . Between 1980 and 1982, national unemployment rates rose by almost 50%. In add i t ion , Canadians are now out of work for longer periods than in previous years ; the average duration of unemployment 124 had r isen to 21.6 weeks in 1984, and the number of people without a job for a year or more doubled between 1980 and 1984. As a resu l t , the sharp r i s e in unemployment in the f i r s t hal f of the 1980's tr iggered a s ign i f i can t increase in the number of poor Canadians. Shaw has noted that r e l a t i ve l y small numbers of workers account for a large share of a l l spe l l s of unemployment: These ind iv idua ls have been ca l led the ' ch ron ica l l y unemployed', meaning they exper ience f requent bouts of unemployment of r e l a t i v e l y long durat ion. I t i s the long-term or chron ica l ly unemployed who are most l i k e l y to be pushed i n to poverty when jobs become s c a r c e . Such unemployment i s most prevalent among workers in primary indus t r ies , among workers in the A t lan t i c Provinces and Quebec, among those possess ing s k i l l s which earn low wage ra tes , among poorly educated youth, native peoples, and older workers who have l os t the i r jobs.(22) This excerpt and the data above suggest that chronic unemployment and poverty are s i gn i f i can t pre-condit ions for the emergence of homelessness. However, as the data suggests, the r isk of homelessness i s not l im i ted to those who are removed from the workforce. Poverty, Jobs and the Working Poor Many people continue to bel ieve that the poor are a l l unable and unwi l l ing to work, but th is myth ignores a basic fact about poverty in Canada, that the working poor are a s ign i f i can t part of Canadian soc iety : Fu l l y 60% of low-income family uni ts headed by persons under 65 re ly on work ra the r than government assistance for the i r inadequate incomes. Including the 513,400 wage earners who are family heads, the to ta l number of Canadians in working poor fami l ies i s c lose to 1.5 mi l l ion . (23) There were estimated to be over 425,000 working poor fami l ies and s ingle persons in Canada in 1986, and the i r numbers are substant ial in every province.(24) 125 ANNUAL RATE OF UNEMPLOYMENT BY PROVINCE FOR PERIOD 1976-1988 UNEMPLOYMENT RATE (%) 1976 1977 1978 1979 1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 B r i t i s h Columbia 8.6 8.5 8.3 7.6 6.8 6.7 12.1 13.8 14.7 14.2 12.4 11.6 10.7 A l b e r t a 4.0 4 .5 4.7 3.9 3.7 3.8 7.7 10.8 11.2 10.0 9.8 8.8 8.3 Saskatchewan 3.9 4.5 4.9 4.2 4.4 4 .7 6.2 7.4 8.0 8.2 7.7 7.6 7.4 Manitoba 4.7 5.9 6.5 5.3 5.5 5.9 8.5 9.4 8.3 8.3 7.7 7.7 7.6 Onta r io 6.2 7.0 7.2 6.5 6.8 6.6 9.8 10.4 9.1 8.2 7.0 5.6 5.1 Quebec 8.7 10.3 10.9 9.6 9.8 10.3 13.8 13.9 12.8 12.0 11 .0 9.0 9.0 New Brunswick 11.0 13.2 12.5 11.1 11.0 11.5 14.0 14.8 14.9 15.0 14.4 10.7 11.6 Nova S c o t i a 9.5 10.6 10.5 10.1 9.7 10.2 13.2 13.2 13.1 14.0 13.4 12.1 10.8 P r i n c e Edward I s . 9.6 9.8 9.8 11.2 10.6 11.2 12.9 12.2 12.8 12.8 13.4 13.2 13.8 Newfoundland 13.3 15.5 16.2 15.1 13.3 13.9 16.8 18.8 20.5 21.5 20.0 17.4 17.9 Canada 7.1 8.1 8.3 7.4 7.5 7.5 11.0 11 .9 11.3 10.5 9.6 8.9 8.1 Source : S ta tsCan , Var ious y e a r s . The country can be roughly s p l i t into two in terms of the composition of i t s working poor populat ion. In the east - Ontar io, Quebec and the A t lan t i c provinces - the working poor make up less than hal f the low-income population while 'other poor' fami l ies and unattached ind iv iduals - those who r e l y mainly on non-employment sources of income ( e . g . s o c i a l a s s i s t a n c e , unemployment insurance and other government t ransfer payments) predominate. In the P r a i r i e provinces and B .C . , the working poor outnumber other poor households; two-thirds of A lber ta 's poor fami l ies are working poor.(25) They are also highly urbanised. Seven in every ten l i v e in urban centres, with an estimated 56% concentrated in large c i t i e s of 100,000 or more, more than 25% in small c i t i e s and towns, and the remainder in rural areas.(26) Single persons are over-represented in comparison with the i r p ropor t i on in the general populat ion. One in every eight unattached ind iv idua ls i s working poor and s ingle persons comprise close to one hal f of a l l working poor households. However, among working poor family units headed by someone 25 or o lder , fami l ies with chi ldren predominate (59%) followed by s ingle persons (31%) and other fami l ies (10%).(27) The working poor in Canada are an in terest ing example of a group who are highly suscept ible to f luctuat ions in economic condi t ions, which can resu l t in episodic periods of unemployment or underemployment. Their circumstances are considerably d i f ferent from the chronic unemployed previously described, but to date l i t t l e research has been conducted on whether th is group experiences homelessness (presumably temporary) to any s ign i f i can t degree. 127 THE WEAKENING OF THE WELFARE CONSENSUS When the world economy took a dramatic downturn around 1973, re lated in part to the Arab- Is rae l i war and the subsequent o i l embargo, the federal and prov inc ia l governments began to speak increasingly of spending res t ra in t . As a r e s u l t , investment in housing and soc ia l service provision occurred at a much reduced r a t e . In O n t a r i o , f o r example, p r o v i n c i a l government expenditures increased f i ve fo ld between 1960 and 1970. By 1975, expenditures reached $9 b i l l i o n , the annual growth of government expenditures had reached 25%, i n f l a t i o n had topped 10%, and the government debt had doubled in one year to reach $2 b i l l i o n : These t rends prompted se r i ous ques t ion ing of government spending, pa r t i cu la r l y on socia l programs. A special programs review committee (Henderson report) produced a report which establ ished the philosophy behind the Ontario government's cutback program. The report recommended cutbacks to the number and wages of publ ic sector employees, and reduced leve ls of soc ia l serv ice ; increasing costs of services and higher user f e e s ; d e c e n t r a l i z a t i o n of p r o v i n c i a l government r espons ib i l i t i e s to municipal governments and ul t imately to ind iv idua ls . These three forms of r e s t r a i n t subsequent ly a f f ec ted every area of prov inc ia l government spending on socia l serv ices. The recommendations included the el iminat ion of programs, cuts in grants to mun ic ipa l i t i es , manpower reductions and reductions in socia l secur i ty expenditures. The committee estimated that by 1977-78 t h i s r e s t r a i n t program would have saved the provinc ia l government $3,660 mi l l ion . (28) As the economic recession moved into high gear, governments introduced new po l i c i es which were intended to promote co -opera t ion in the s o c i a l s e r v i c e a r e a . The three main p o l i c i e s were d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n , p r i va t i sa t i on and voluntarism: In these three " p o l i c i e s " and the e l iminat ion of other soc ia l programs the various leve ls of government have done violence to our socia l welfare system. So much so, that we now face problems that remind us of the Great Depression and the humil iat ion and hardship experienced by so many. The dream of the post-war years , that future Canadians would not have to feel the burden of poverty i s no more! As the years go by, Canada i s d r i f t i n g back in time: the scenes of yesterday become the scenes of today - food l i n e s , soup kitchens and neighbourhood char i t ies . (29) 128 The ' soc ia l safety net' i s showing signs of wear and tear . A weakening of the welfare consensus has exacerbated the problems facing the economically and s o c i a l l y vulnerable and the homeless. Because of the economic res t ra in t po l i c i es introduced by both federal and provinc ia l governments, those who r e l y on income assistance are f inding i t increasingly more d i f f i c u l t to af ford adequate food, c lo th ing and pa r t i cu la r l y she l ter . An examination of the p r o v i s i o n of s o c i a l ass is tance benef i ts in the d i f fe rent provinces reveals that more people are re ly ing on government assistance than ever before, but the benefi ts are ser iously inadequate. INCOME ASSISTANCE AND THE RISK OF HOMELESSNESS No province in Canada provides su f f i c i en t income assistance to s ingle rec ip ients to ra ise the i r income to the poverty l i n e , and fami l ies fare only s l i g h t l y bet ter : Despi te great i n t e r p r o v i n c i a l d i s p a r i t i e s , there i s one s t r i k i ng but unfor tunate area of na t i ona l c o n s i s t e n c y . In a l l p r o v i n c e s , the de f in i t i on of basic requirements i s so str ingent that the welfare benef i t l e v e l s c a l c u l a t e d acco rd ing to t hese s t a n d a r d s p e r m i t o n l y an impoverished existence.(30) In 1986, the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto undertook a review of the adequacy of socia l assistance benefi ts in each of the ten p r o v i n c e s . According to the i r report , the range of incomes for s ingle employable persons i s 20.3% to 60.0% of the poverty l i n e , and for s ingle d i sab led persons, the range i s 51.1% to 81.5%.(31) Among fam i l i es , two parent/two chi ldren households do l e s s we l l than one parent /one c h i l d households, with incomes ranging from 48.2% to 69.8% of the poverty l i n e : A s i gn i f i can t downturn in the performance of the economy such as that exper ienced by Canada in the years 1982-1984 provides a test of the commitment of governments to care for the most economically vulnerable members of soc ie ty . . .The overal l pattern shows a consistency in which 129 provinces with the highest benef i t l eve ls (A lber ta, B r i t i s h Columbia and Saskatchewan) have e i ther reduced benef i ts or l im i ted increases to below the ra te of i n f l a t i o n . The largest s ingle reductions occurred in the s ing le employable category where Saskatchewan and Alberta cut benef i ts by 41.9% and 24.2% respect ive ly . The provinces of Prince Edward Is land, Saskatchewan and B r i t i s h Columbia reduced the real purchasing power of rec ip ien ts , a f ter shel ter incomes, in a l l household categories.(32) The report documented the leve ls of assistance paid to fami l ies and s ingles in each of the provinces in 1985, and then calculated the monthly incomes af ter shel ter costs had been deducted. The resu l ts are tabulated below. MONTHLY BENEFITS OF FAMILIES ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BY PROVINCE, 1985 1 ADULT, 1 CHILD (4yrs) 2 ADULTS, 2 CHILDREN (10,13) SHORT LONG SHORT LONG TERM RANK TERM RANK TERM RANK TERM RANK NEWF. $689 2 $689 3 $797 7 $797 8 P . E . I . 592 6 592 9 848 6 848 7 NOVA SCOT 546 10 659 4 765 8 919 3 NEW BRUNS 565 7 609 8 611 10 671 10 QUEBEC 655 3 655 5 929 3 929 5 ONTARIO 565 7 647 6 762 9 762 9 MANITOBA 547 9 579 10 881 4 931 4 SAKATCHEW. 750 1 750 1 930 2 1,090 1 ALBERTA 646 4 719 2 950 1 1,082 2 BRIT.COL 640 5 640 7 870 5 870 6 Source: Soc.Planning Council of Metro. Toronto. Social Infopac, vol.15,1986. 130 MONTHLY BENEFITS OF SINGLE PERSONS ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BY PROVINCE, 1985 SINGLE PERSON SINGLE PERSON EMPLOYABLE DISABLED SHORT LONG SHORT LONG TERM RANK TERM RANK TERM RANK TERM RANK NEWF. $275 8 $275 8 $436 7 $436 8 P . E . I . 455 1 471 2 511 4 511 6 NOVA SCOT 366 4 366 5 366 10 539 3 NEW BRUNS 188 9 188 9 376 9 405 10 QUEBEC 160 10 160 10 440 6 440 7 ONTARIO 368 3 368 4 519 3 519 5 MANITOBA 353 5 353 6 414 8 414 9 SAKATCHEW. 345 6 345 7 530 2 530 4 ALBERTA 441 2 484 1 484 5 695* 1 BRIT.COL 325 7 375 3 548 1 548 2 * INCLUDES ASSURED INCOME FOR THE SEVERELY HANDICAPPED. Source: Soc.Planning Council of Metro. Toronto. Social Infopac, vol.15,1986. MONTHLY AFTER-SHELTER INCOMES OF FAMILIES ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BY PROVINCE 1985 (LONG-TERM PROVINCIAL RATES) 1 ADULT, 1 CHILD (4yrs) 2 ADULTS, 2 CHILDREN (10,13) MONTHLY SHELTER AMOUNT MONTHLY SHELTER AMOUNT BENEFITS COSTS REMAIN RANK BENEFITS COSTS REMAIN RANK NEWF. $689 $338 $351 2 $797 $338 $459 5 P . E . I . 592 360 232 10 848 410 438 7 NOVA SCOT 659 423 236 9 919 462 457 6 NEW BRUNS 609 325 284 5 671 350 321 9 QUEBEC 655 330 325 3 929 405 524 4 ONTARIO 647 380 267 7 762 520 242 10 MANITOBA 579 309 270 6 931 375 556 3 SAKATCHEW. 750 355 395 1 1,090 415 675 1 ALBERTA 719 430 289 4 1,082 505 577 2 BRIT.COL 640 380 260 8 870 545 325 8 Source: Soc.Planning Council of Metro. Toronto. Social Infopac, vol.15,1986 131 MONTHLY AFTER-SHELTER INCOMES OF SINGLE INDIVIDUALS ON SOCIAL ASSISTANCE BY PROVINCE, 1985. (LONG-TERM PROVINCIAL RATES) SINGLE PERSON EMPLOYABLE SINGLE PERSON DISABLED MONTHLY SHELTER AMOUNT MONTHLY SHELTER AMOUNT BENEFITS COSTS REMAIN RANK BENEFITS COSTS REMAIN RANK NEWF. $275 $250 $25 8 $436 $250 $186 6 P . E . I . 471 335 136 2 511 335 176 7 NOVA SCOT 366 250 116 3 539 385 154 9 NEW BRUNS 188 250 NIL 9 405 275 130 10 QUEBEC 160 250 NIL 9 440 250 190 5 ONTARIO 368 310 58 7 519 310 209 4 MANITOBA 353 250 103 4 414 250 164 8 SAKATCHEW. 345 245 100 5 530 300 230 3 ALBERTA 484 290 194 1 695* 290 405 1 BRIT. COL 375 310 65 6 548 310 238 2 * INCLUDES ASSURED INCOME FOR THE SEVERELY HANDICAPPED. Source: Soc.Planning Council of Metro. Toronto. Social Infopac, vol.15,1986. It should be noted that since these data were publ ished, Alberta has reduced i t s socia l assistance rates by $150 per month to s ingle employable people. Two addi t ional studies of the adequacy of socia l assistance rates were published in 1986. A B r i t i s h Columbia study found a s i gn i f i can t gap between welfare benef i ts and the cost of basic l i v i n g , based on taking the average of the maximum and minimum allowable rates for each type of household.(33) In each case welfare rates f e l l short of the cost of bas ic l i v i n g . When examined in re la t ion to the changes in the consumer pr ice index, the real value of welfare benefi ts in B.C. decreased by 16% between 1982 and 1986 (even although they had outstr ipped i n f l a t i o n pr io r to th is t ime). The National Council on Welfare provides an ind icat ion of the assistance 132 ava i lab le to d i f fe rent household groups. They calculated rates of soc ia l assistance for basic needs in three typ ica l welfare households: a s ingle person 19-25; a s ingle parent with a two year-o ld c h i l d ; and a two-parent family with two chi ldren aged 10 and 15. The ca lcu la t ions indicate that basic welfare incomes range from a low of 23% of the poverty l i ne to a 'h igh ' of 85% of the poverty l i n e , and according to the repo r t : " i t i s those ind iv idua ls considered to be employable who are most severely treated under the current welfare system."(34) As the report noted: There i s no one set of categories common to a l l j u r i sd i c t i ons with respect to , for example, reasons for being on welfare. We do not know how long people remain on socia l assistance and how often they have to use the system. We have no idea of the actual average amount of benef i ts received by r e c i p i e n t s in va r ious c a t e g o r i e s , and no information i s readi ly ava i lab le on a province-by-province basis of changes in welfare rates over the years.(35) The f igures are shown below. 133 ESTIMATED WELFARE INCOME, BY TYPE OF HOUSEHOLD, SELECTED PROVINCES: 1986 SOCIAL TOTAL POV- POV- TOTAL WELFARE ASSIST - ANNUAL ERTY ERTY INCOME AS % ANCE INCOME LINE GAP POVERTY LINE BRIT.COLUMBIA $ $ $ $ SINGLE EMPLOYABLE 4,302 4,330 10,653 -6,323 40.6% SINGLE PARENT/CHILD 7,728 8,861 14,055 -5,194 63.0% COUPLE,2 CHILDREN 10,503 12,777 21,655 -8,888 59.0% MANITOBA SINGLE EMPLOYABLE 4,541 5,089 10,653 -5,564 47.8% SINGLE PARENT/CHILD 7,111 8,925 14,055 -5,130 63.5% COUPLE,2 CHILDREN 11,098 14,038 21,665 -7,627 64.8% ONTARIO SINGLE EMPLOYABLE 4,828 5,129 10,653 -5,524 48.1% SINGLE PARENT/CHILD 8,756 10,249 14,055 -3,806 72.9% COUPLE,2 CHILDREN 10,832 13,560 21,665 -8,105 62.6% QUEBEC SINGLE EMPLOYABLE 2,052 2,400 10,653 -8,253 22.5% SINGLE PARENT/CHILD 7,428 9,101 14,055 -4,954 64.8% COUPLE,2 CHILDREN 10,020 12,733 21,665 -8,932 58.8% NEWFOUNDLAND SINGLE EMPLOYABLE 3,389 3,389 10,117 -6,728 33.5% SINGLE PARENT/CHILD 8,496 9,559 13,340 -3,781 71.7% COUPLE,2 CHILDREN 9,828 11,954 20,590 -8,636 58.1% Source: National Council of Welfare, WELFARE IN CANADA: The Tangled Safety Net. Ottawa, Nov. 1987. In Ontar io, people on welfare ex is t on incomes which are 25% to 55% below the poverty l i n e . ( 3 6 ) An examinat ion of General Welfare Ass i s tance rec ip ients in Metropolitan Toronto concluded that: If the assumption that General Welfare Assistance should be su f f i c i en t to cover she l te r , food and c loth ing needs i s accepted, then the resu l ts of the p r e s e n t s tudy sugges t t h a t the c u r r e n t we l fa re ra tes are inadequate.. .A primary reason for that inadequacy appears to be the high cost of accommodation in Metro Toronto.(37) 134 There i s growing evidence that a secondary welfare system has developed in the char i tab le sector because current welfare rates are i nsu f f i c i en t to allow people to purchase both shel ter and food: 32,453 people were in receipt of GWA in Metro Toronto in January 1986, of whom, 50% were considered to be employable. GWA rates were revised in January 1986. Since then, a s ingle employable person has been e l i g i b l e for a monthly al lowance of up to $394.00 including a shel ter subsidy of $115.00. Excluding the shel ter subsidy, the basic allowance i s made up of an ordinary needs component of $204.00 and a shel ter allowance of $75.00 ( th is represents 27% of the basic allowance; i f the shel ter subsidy i s taken i n t o account , a s ing le employable person i s expected to spend $190.00 or 48% of the net GWA on shel ter) - 87% of rec ip ients are spending more than 50% of GWA on shel ter . (38) In the review of General Welfare Assistance in Ontario i t was noted that supplementing the income of rec ip ients without addressing the problem of the c r i t i c a l shortage of sui table housing for low-income people could simply serve to push up the pr ice of what l i t t l e cheap housing remains in the area.(39) One resu l t of the trends out l ined above has been a noticeable increase in the number of people re ly ing upon emergency shel ters and hostels across the country as a place of l a s t resor t . While i t i s not merely the economics of poverty or unemployment alone, or meagre socia l assistance benefi ts which create homelessness in many parts of the country, there are obvious l i nks between these condit ions and the broad spectrum of homeless groups i den t i f i ed in chapter three. Emergency shel ters are increasingly cater ing to people who have l os t the i r jobs and could not af ford to hold on to the i r homes. Long wait ing l i s t s face fami l ies t ry ing to get into socia l and publ ic housing units but in the meantime they are are faced with t ry ing to secure affordable accommodation in extremely t i g h t housing markets in addit ion to providing food and c loth ing.(40) Economic condit ions do not cause homelessness but they do make a d i f ference. 135 THE ECONOMIC PRE-CONDITIONS * Homelessness in the f i r s t hal f of th is century in Canada was pr imar i ly re lated to extreme economic condit ions which produced la rge numbers of employable but unemployed men moving across the country in search of employment, and dependent on what l i t t l e government r e l i e f was ava i lab le . The economic devastation which was brought on by the Great Depression raised the consciousness of Canadians that homelessness was a s u b s t a n t i a l and serious problem which ind iv iduals could not overcome at w i l l . But perhaps as important was the recognit ion in the aftermath of World War Two that a return to economic prosperi ty did not el iminate the problem.(41) Poverty and sub-standard housing condit ions were considered areas of high p r i o r i t y in the period of post-war reconstruct ion, and i t was recognised in some quarters at l eas t , that homelessness continued to be l inked to unemployment.(42) * The ' soc ia l safety net' matured in the ear ly 1970's into a comprehensive and progressive system which pos i t i ve ly affected the standard of l i v i n g of most Canadians. The socia l welfare consensus coincided with the rapid growth of the Canadian economy and the real e f fec t of socia l welfare po l i c i es began to show in the '70 's when the number of poor people decl ined. However, there i s evidence to suggest that a growing discrepancy was taking place between r i ch and poor Canadians even at th is time of re la t i ve prosper i ty . * The evidence c lea r l y indicates that homelessness in Canada i s not, and never has been so le ly a question of she l te r , or housing. I t i s c lose ly re lated poverty, unemployment, and inadequate leve ls of socia l assistance which have varied in in tens i ty both temporally and s p a t i a l l y . 136 * In recent y e a r s , the composi t ion of the poor and economica l ly disenfranchised has a l te red , in part because of the strengths of the welfare system, and in part because of i t s weaknesses. * The case example provides a good i l l u s t r a t i o n of how the reciprocal re la t ions between socia l structures and ind iv idual agency are influenced by spat ia l r e la t i ons . While homelessness i s predominantly found in the urban centres in Canada, the economic pre-condit ions examined were shown to be const i tuted and manifest at a var iety of spat ia l sca les . These points w i l l be raised again during the fol lowing case example which examines the importance of community for the inner -c i ty soc ia l l y marginalised and homeless. 137 NOTES 1. I t should be. noted however, that these problems were s t i l l general ly considered by government to be episodic fa i l u res of the market place which required government in tervent ion. See H.P.Oberlander and A . L . F a l l i c k Housing  Canadians. Vancouver, B .C . : The Universi ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, Centre for Human Settlements, 1988. 2. For a discussion on the ro le of the socia l planner, see Glenn Drover and J . David Hulchanski. "Future Direct ions For Urban Social Planning in Canada", U.B.C. Planning Papers, DP 11, Apr i l 1987. 3. Dennis Guest. The Emergence of Social Securi ty in Canada, Vancouver: Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia Press, 1985. 4. John C. Bacher and J . David Hulchanski. "Keeping Warm and Dry: The Po l icy Response To The Struggle For Shelter Among Canada's Homeless, 1900-1960", Urban History Review, October 1987. The authors i l l u s t r a t e th is with an excerpt from 1912 report by the Associated Char i t ies of Winnipeg, which has a fami l i a r r ing in cer ta in contemporary quarters: "Unfortunately, the l a rge ma jo r i t y of a p p l i c a n t s fo r r e l i e f are caused by t h r i f t l e ssness , mismanagement, unemployment due to incompetence, intemperance, immorality, desert ion of the family and domestic quarre ls . In such cases the mere giv ing of r e l i e f tends rather to induce pauperism than to reduce poverty". 5. I b i d . They suggest that th is a t t i tude prevai led un t i l at leas t the 1930's. "An a r t i c l e in a Canadian socia l welfare journal app rop r i a te l y en t i t l ed "The Social Worker's At t i tude to Housing" asserted that improvements in the housing condit ions of the poor depended upon moving " to another sect ion of the c i t y , persons who needed to be freed of the corrupting lure of f r iends and fami l i a r p laces. " Wil l iam McCloy. "The Social Worker's At t i tude to Housing" Social Welfare, 9, 1929 6 . H u l c h a n s k i and Bacher c i t e James S t r u t h e r s , No F a u l t of The i r  Own:Unemployment and the Canadian Welfare S t a t e , 1914-1941, Toronto: Univers i ty of Toronto Press, 1983. 7. See for example, C . J . Hastings. Report of the Medical Health Of f icer  Dealing With Recent Invest igat ions of Slum Conditions in Toronto, 1911; Montreal Board of Trade and C iv i c Improvement League. A Report on Housing and  Slum Conditions in Montreal, Publ ic Archives of Canada, RG19, vol .706; H.P. Oberlander and Arthur L. F a l l i c k . Housing Canadians, the Centre for Human Settlements, The Univers i ty of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1988; Urban History  Review, vo l .XV, N o . l , June 1986, Special issue on the History of Housing Pol i c y . 8. National Council on Welfare. Welfare in Canada:The Tangled Safety Net, Ottawa: National Council on Welfare, 1987. 138 9. I b i d . "The f l e x i b i l i t y of the Canada Assistance Plan combined with regional d i ve rs i t y have resu l ted , in e f fec t , in a unique welfare system in each of the twelve j u r i sd i c t i ons in Canada. While a l l these programs have several key fea tu res in common, each i s governed by i t s own set of regulat ions which make i t d i f fe rent from the system in any other part of the country." 10. see Oberlander and F a l l i c k . Housing Canadians. 11. Ramesh Mishra. The Collapse of the Welfare Consensus? The Welfare State  in the ' 8 0 ' s . Paper presented at the Ontario Symposium on the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless, Toronto, August 1987. 12. Dear and Wolch. Landscapes of Despair. 13. Ib id . 14. Mishra traces the problems to: i . Un in tended consequences assoc ia ted wi th p r o f e s s i o n a l l y and bureaucratical ly-dominated publ ic serv ices ; i i . C l ien ts became passive objects i i i . The un iversa l i t y of the welfare state became less d i s t r i bu t i ve and less benef ic ia l for the poor. 15. Ib id . "By the close of the sevent ies, l i t t l e was l e f t of the promise of a "science of soc ie ty " . Economics, which was e a r l i e r believed to have come of age as a soc ia l sc ience, was in deep t rouble. Keynesianism was in disarray and neo-c lass ica l theories of market economy had staged a comeback...(And) long before economics proved to be an emperor without c lo thes, sociology and the socia l sciences more broadly conceived were found wanting as re l i ab le guides to ac t i on " . 16. Na t iona l Counci l on Welfare. 1986 Poverty P r o f i l e , Ottawa: National Council on Welfare. 1986 17. Prager. "Poverty in North America". 18. National Council on Welfare. Welfare: The Tangled Safety Net. 19. Nat iona l Counc i l on Wel fa re . Poverty P r o f i l e 1988, Ottawa:National Council on Welfare, Apr i l 1988. 20. Glenn Drover and J . David Hulchanski. "Future Direct ions for Urban Social Planning in Canada". The l i nks between the incidence of poverty and unemployment can be shown by reference to Alberta and B r i t i s h Columbia in the period between 1981 and 1984. In A lber ta , the rate of family poverty doubled (8.3% - 16.3%), and the proportion of unattached ind iv idua ls with low-incomes rose from 26% to 31%. During the same time per iod, the unemployment rate t r i p l ed from 3.8% to 11.2%. In B . C . , family poverty rose by 65% and the job less rate by 116% in the four year per iod. By 1986, the trend had been reduced s l i g h t l y , but as Smith suggests, there were s t i l l 105,600 fami l ies l i v i n g below the poverty l i n e , a 53% increase since 1980. 139 Patr ick J . Smith. "Perestroika and Pol icy Gambling in Fantasyland: Publ ic P o l i c y , Local Governance and the Vander Zalm Agenda in B .C. " Paper for the Canadian P o l i t i c a l Science Assoc ia t ion , Windsor, Ontar io, June 1988. 21 . S y l v i a Ostry and M. Z a i d i . Labour Economics in Canada, Toronto: Macmil lan, 1979. 22. R. Paul Shaw, "The Burden of Unemployment in Canada. Canadian Publ ic  P o l i c y , XI:2:143-160, 1985. 23. National Council of Welfare. Jobs and Poverty, Ottawa, June 1977. 24. National Council of Welfare. The Working Poor: A S t a t i s t i c a l P r o f i l e , Ottawa, June 1977. 25. Ostry and Zaidi argue that seasonal i ty of employment accounts for a major port ion of regional d i spa r i t i es in unemployment. In the A t lan t i c Region, B r i t i s h Columbia and to a lesser extent Quebec, a large proportion of the indus t r ia l workforce r e l i e s on seasonal labour. At the same time however, when the duration of unemployment i s considered, the average duration of unemployment r i s e s in c l o s e concordance wi th the o v e r a l l l e v e l o f unemployment. Higher leve ls of c y c l i c a l unemployment are derived from both increased frequency ( larger flows) and long durat ion: as economic condit ions worsen, more workers are displaced from jobs and take longer to f ind work. This lengthening duration was apparent in every region of Canada over the recession of the ear ly 1970's, although as the Economic Council of Canada po in ted out (People and J o b s ) , the reg iona l i nc idence of long- term unemployment at any time shows a pers is tent pat tern, being higher in the A t lan t i c region, Quebec and B r i t i s h Columbia. 26. National Council of Welfare. The Working Poor. 27. Ib id . 28. Dear and Wolch. Landscapes of Despair. 29. Mishra. "The Collapse of the Welfare Consensus". The welfare state also came under attack from the feminist movement, based on the argument that the post-war welfare state was sex is t in i t s p o l i c i e s and admin is t ra t ion , perpetuating women's oppression. Feminists argued for non-sexist , self-managed soc ia l welfare organisations outside the s ta te s e c t o r . See El izabeth Wilson Women and the Welfare State. London: Tavistock. 1977; Mary Mcintosh "Feminism and Social P o l i c y " . Cr i tTca l Social  Po l icy 1, n o . l , 1981. 30. National Council on Welfare. Welfare in Canada: The Tangled Safety Net . , Ottawa: National Council on Welfare, 1987. 31. Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto. Social Infopac, v o l . 5 , N o . l , March 1986. 32. Ib id . 140 33. K. M e l l i s h i p and B.Levens. Regaining Digni ty , Social Planning and Research Council of B . C . , 1986. The average cost of l i v i n g i s the mean of the most cost ly and the leas t cost ly family expenditures for each household s i z e . 34. National Council of Welfare. Welfare in Canada: The Tangled Safety Net, Ottawa: National Council on Welfare, 1987. 35. Ib id . 36. Ontario ra ised socia l assistance rates s l i gh t l y in 1986, recognising that benef i ts to two-parent fami l ies were "grossly inadequate". As a r esu l t , these f a m i l i e s rece ived an add i t i ona l $50 per month and other benef i t increases ( t o ta l l i ng 15.7% from $762 to $882). Social Infopac. 37. Soc ia l Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto. Adequacy of General  Welfare Assis tance, 1986. 38. D. Barton. "Housing Issues for Low-income Single Persons in Ottawa", Ci ty of Ottawa, Housing Department, August 1986. 39. Social Planning Council of Ottawa-Carleton. Trends 1985, Ottawa, 1985. 40. An in teres t ing anecdote recently appeared in a p o l i t i c a l science paper which i l l u s t r a t e s the preva i l ing at t i tude to poverty and income assistance rec ip ients by the Social Credi t government. " In the 1980's family poverty grew faster in B.C. than in any other province in Canada. Between 1981 and 1986, f a m i l i e s l i v i n g below the poverty l i ne increased by 53% in B.C. - to 105,600 fami l i es . With health care premiums increas ing, extra user charges for seniors ' long term and extended care f a c i l i t i e s , the province refusing to co-operate to allow the Vancouver School Board to tap avai lab le federal assistance fo r a school meals program; and w i th a major reorganizat ion of the socia l services ministry underway, al lowing for fewer publ ic serv ices , the premier suggested that ' i f we can help them (the poor) to get to know Jesus Chr is t . . . t h e y ' l l be much happier and the i r problems w i l l be resolved much eas ie r ' and welfare rec ip ients and women with unwanted pregnancies can turn to Chr is t ' f o r f r e e ' . Patr ick J . Smith. "Peres t ro ika" . 41. According to Leonard Marsh in Canadians In and Out of Work: "It would appear, that some twenty years af ter the Depression, the s ingle job less become casual t ies and dependent on soc ia l assistance at pretty much the same rate as previously. In 1937, the best year of the Depression per iod, the number of normal wage earners on r e l i e f went from 7% to 8% of the to ta l employee-force of the country." 42. Marsh notes that for the duration of the War, the economic environment continued to provide that anyone who had even a res t r i c ted capaci ty fo r employment could f ind i t , and during the two years succeeding May 1945, the volume of unemployment insurance c r e d i t s , voluntary and compulsory war-time savings, and re-establishment c r e d i t s , provided a screen which obscured a 141 view of any unemployment problem which might ex i s t . However, by the Autumn of 1947, increasing numbers of appl icat ions by employable persons to the c i t y soc ia l service department and to pr ivate agencies made i t apparent that in the t rans i t i on from a war-time to a peace-time economy there were some employment casual t i e s . . .Each year (up to '55) the problem (of unemployment) assumed large proport ions, not only in Vancouver, but across Canada. By December 1958, not only had the volume of the s ingle unemployed men become alarming, but the lack of shel ter for them was appal l ing. 142 CHAPTER SIX: THE IMPORTANCE OF COMMUNITY TO THE INNER CITY HOMELESS 142a HOMELESSNESS AMONG THE SOCIALLY MARGINALISED LOUIE the SUN KING Louie the Sun King they ca l led Him, Louie with a l l of the Attent ion be f i t t i ng One who knew the Splendour. Knew i t to wear As a robe flowing with noonday sun. Who wore i t so pr incely that simple men Came to pay homage on the TTC with No t i cke ts l e f t for the r ide home. I t did not Matter then. A l l they ever wanted was a smile From his toothless g r i n , his arm raised to Salute the t ru th . What a sight he was. Standing by the Salvat ion Army s tore, A shopping bag strung loosely on the Arm not ra i sed , he had such an in fect ious smile. He laughed at the pigeons who ate at his feet . No, he laughed with the pigeons. A spring Rain covered his smile with a r t i f i c i a l tears. He stood without b l i nk ing . He was the kind of th ie f who sto le your heart, And was counselled to plead insan i ty . He never knew he had any kind of power. Once he awoke in a kind of revery. He dreamed he would marry a slender woman With golden straw hair beneath a wide brim Of chan t i l l y lace . His best feel ings were of chan t i l l y lace. He to ld everyone about th is event which would so Change his l i f e . He to ld the owner of Channon Court. He believed what he said and was happy beyond Tommorrow. He forgot about the date. He stood outside the Salvat ion Army store and Saluted for an extra long time. He grinned his best Most toothless g r i n . He laughed a t , w i th , pigeons. He t r i ed a l l of his t r i c k s . I t d idn ' t matter. He t i r ed of t ry ing to be so pr ince ly . He stayed in the rain too long, long af ter the others Had returned on the TTC. Louie the Sun King, A small voice ca l led from far away. Kings don't Stand l i k e that , Louie. Kings don't l i e . He went home and spoke to someone who gave him a Mock sa lu te . He returned i t , but i t l e f t a rancid tas te . He thought kings don't l i e . The inquest continues. HARVEY SAVAGE. PHOENIX RISING. Vo l . 6 , No.4, June 1987. 143 INTRODUCTION The inner c i t y has been h i s t o r i c a l l y a place of refuge for the homeless. The sk id row mi l ieu - the reservoi r of cheap, poor-qual i ty rooming houses and res ident ia l ho te ls , the hoste ls , drop-in centres, beer parlours and welfare o f f i ces - was the t rad i t iona l home of the 'urban nomads', the seasonally employed migrant labour force and others who, for varying reasons have had d i f f i c u l t y coping with urban society . In the fo l lowing case example, i t i s suggested that as skid row areas have evolved, the composition of the homeless in these areas has a l te red . In p a r t i c u l a r , recent t rends i n d i c a t e a r e l a t i v e increase among soc ia l l y marginalised and service-dependent groups, and a decl ine in the proportion of the economica l l y d i sen f r anch i sed fo r whom the area was h i s t o r i c a l l y a temporary refuge during periods of unemployment. This transformation i s shown to be re lated to the impact of two re l a t i ve l y recent processes, d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n and i n n e r - c i t y r e v i t a l i s a t i o n (coupled wi th g e n t r i f i c a t i o n ) , which have s i g n i f i c a n t l y a l t e r e d the composition of the homeless in Canada's inner c i t i e s - and transformed the community which many have made the i r home. From a geographic perspect ive, i t i s suggested that these p rocesses , which combined to c rea te and subsequently a l t e r skid row, have contributed to making th is mi l ieu home by  choice for some homeless, and by default for others. Examining the spat ia l impact of de ins t i tu t iona l i sa t ion and r e v i t a l i s a t i o n within the context of the evolut ion of skid row, i l l u s t r a t e s how various contingent local condit ions have al tered the composition of Canada's urban homeless. Prominent w r i t e r s such as Bogue, Rooney, Wallace and Vanderkooi who traced the development of skid row up to the 1960's and 1970's, have argued 144 that the function of skid row has sh i f ted from what was once an "employment poo l " , into "an old age rest home", and that i t w i l l continue to ex is t simply as an agglomeration of socia l m is f i t s - a l coho l i cs , old men, poorly educated people, the chron ica l ly unemployed and the mentally d e f i c i e n t . (1) They p red i c ted that the population of skid row would decl ine as a resu l t of improved welfare benef i ts , and as the demand for unsk i l led and casual labour decl ines with the increased trend toward automation. As a resu l t , skid row would come to function as an open asylum, and desp i te s o c i a l change, homelessness would pers is t in th is area, although the future homeless would have d i f fe rent charac te r i s t i cs from the i r predecessors. In one sense, the authors' suggestion that homelessness w i l l be ceded to the skid row areas i s questioned. Two related arguments are made. 1. The ef fects of homelessness have become more widespread. Many parts of Canada have been going through a deep economic recession and at the same time, there has been a structural sh i f t away from the t rad i t iona l resource- and industr ia l -based economy. The response by federal and most p r o v i n c i a l governments has been to f igh t in f la t ionary pressures in the economy through monetary p o l i c i e s and r e s t r a i n t programmes which have increased unemployment.(2) Canadian evidence suggests that the skid row areas have not markedly increased despite high leve ls of unemployment in the l a t e 1970's and 1980 ' s , and that the t r a d i t i o n a l assoc ia t ion between structural unemployment, poverty and the high concentration of the homeless in the urban cores has a l te red . There are more educated, s k i l l e d , and middle-class people being affected beyond the inner c i t y . 2. Skid row areas are being r e v i t a l i s e d . Evidence from Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg and Edmonton 145 indicates that the older sections of these c i t i e s have been experiencing considerable re-development pressures which have transformed the i n te rna l s t r u c t u r e of many Canad ian c i t i e s , reduced the stock of l ow-cos t accommodation and strained the socia l welfare 'safety ne t ' . This i s par t ly re lated to the changing economic and socia l structure of the skid row areas as they become desirable areas for redevelopment and gen t r i f i ca t i on . The s i tuat ion has changed from one in which the inner c i t y was the place of l as t resort for those seeking refuge from harsh economic condi t ions, to one where i t i s becoming increasingly d i f f i c u l t to f ind low-cost accommodation. As Kas in i t z suggests: In recent years the downtown sections of many North American c i t i e s have undergone extensive renovation and r e v i t a l i z a t i o n . This "back to the c i t y " or " g e n t r i f i c a t i o n " movement has been both hai led as an urban rena issance and condemned fo r d i s r u p t i n g urban neighborhoods and d isp lac ing inner c.ity res idents. While many types of land use in the inner core have been regarded as the very symbols of urban decay, they serve the v i t a l needs of populations with few resources and a l te rna t i ves . Gent r i f i ca t ion has placed these powerless people in d i rec t competition with r e l a t i ve l y powerful actors for inner c i t y space. The resu l t may be at leas t a par t ia l explanation for the growing ranks of the homeless on the streets of many c i t i e s . ( 3 ) Skid row i s no longer simply a refuge for those outside the mainstream of soc ie ty . The changing composition of the homeless in these areas has also coincided with s ign i f i can t changes in land use, in tens i fy ing homelessness i n t e rna l l y , and project ing i t beyond the t rad i t iona l boundaries.(4) These arguments are presented in deta i l below, beginning with the evolut ion of skid row. In another sense however, the authors' prognosis of skid row becoming a repository for soc ie ty ' s socia l and economic c a s t - o f f s has some m e r i t . D e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n has indeed produced a new group of s o c i a l l y marginal ised. Jo in ing the core of ' s ing le older men on welfare' who had 146 become the charac te r i s t i c skid row resident of the la te 1960's and 1970's, inner c i t y areas have increasingly become the home of l as t resort for a growing number of mentally i l l , who, because of l im i ted opt ions, are facing an increased r isk of becoming homeless in the inner -c i ty areas. SKID ROW AS A HAVEN FOR THE HOMELESS Skid row has been described as both a d i s t i n c t geographic section of a c i t y with cer ta in recognisable features, and also as a human condi t ion, in the sense that i t symbolises a way of l i v i n g and coping.(5) Bogue has described the geographic dimensions of skid row: . . . A d i s t r i c t in the c i t y where there i s a concentration of substandard hotels and rooming houses charging very low rates and cater ing pr imar i ly to men with low incomes. These hotels are intermingled with numerous tave rns , employment agencies o f f e r i n g jobs as u n s k i l l e d l a b o r e r s , restaurants serving low-cost meals, pawnshops and second-hand s tores, and missions that da i ly provide a free meal af ter the serv ice. Perhaps there are also barber co l leges , burlesque shows or night clubs with s t r i p tease ac ts , pennyarcades, tattoo places, stores se l l i ng men's work c lo th ing , baker ies s e l l i n g s t a l e b read , and unclaimed f r e i g h t s tores. Most frequently the skid row i s located near the central business d i s t r i c t and also near the factory d i s t r i c t or major heavy transportat ion f a c i l i t i e s such as waterfront, f re ightyards, or a trucking and storage depot.(6) Bogue suggests that these charac te r i s t i cs were ind ica t ive of the essent ia l needs of the ear ly skid row residents - inexpensive food, she l te r , c lo th ing , temporary work, and "the socia l and emotional needs associated with them."(7) Duncan's descr ipt ion of the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and use of urban space adds an add i t i ona l geographic perspective which i s of value in understanding the geography of skid row.(8) Duncan draws on a ser ies of " fo lk geographies" to show how the tramps' c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of various areas, and the i r spat ia l decision-making are inf luenced by the 'host ' populat ion: Sk id row i s thought of as an area which i s morally bankrupt. The character izat ion of i t s inhabitants as morally defect ive leads to the concept ion of skid row as an open asylum.. .Occupying a very marginal 147 place in the preva i l ing concept of soc ie ty , tramps are in a very poor pos i t ion from which to negot ia te fo r r i g h t s to use space. The i r c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of areas w i t h i n the c i t y i s l a r g e l y shaped by the prime/marginal d i s t i nc t i on of the host group. S i m i l a r l y , the i r strategy of occupying marginal space i s a d i rec t resu l t of the host 's strategy of containment. The tramp, however, pays a pr ice for using what i s defined by the host group as marginal space.. .By occupying marginal space, the tramp acts out and reconfirms his socia l marginal i ty in the eyes of the host group...The d iv i s ion of the c i t y into prime and marginal s p a c e . . . i s  not in i t s e l f as important as the idea that the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n and use of  urban areas by any group must be viewed in the context of that group s  re la t ion to other groups.(9) (emphasis added). As Duncan suggests, d i f f e ren t ia l mob i l i t y , access to space and inequa l i t ies in power to inf luence others' use of space are fundamental aspects of the moral order of the c i t y landscape.(10) While Duncan's focus i s the tramp, many of his observations are pert inent to the broader cadres of homeless and poor in c i t i e s today. Consider for example, the fol lowing excerpts: In a soc ie ty such as ours, whose organization i s based on indiv idual property r i gh t s , a poor person w i l l be viewed as a problem for the group con t ro l l i ng the area in which he l i v e s . He possesses l i t t l e property and hence has l i t t l e stake in the ex is t ing order which functions pr imar i ly to protect property and ensure that orderly market re la t ions take place. Skid row i s ceded to the tramps because the author i t ies rea l i ze tha t tramps must stay somewhere and there are de f in i te advantages from the po in t of view of s o c i a l con t ro l to keeping them together in one place.(11) Duncan's observations about the tramps' use of space in the United States were wr i t ten in 1978, and make no e x p l i c i t mention of the homeless in America who are not tramps. However, by the mid-1980's, when homelessness began to receive more widespread a t tent ion, Lamb observed a growing and more diverse homeless population in the United States who are d r i f t i n g from place to p lace, seeking refuge and anonymity in the inner c i t y cores. Their use of space, pa r t i cu la r l y the marginal space to which Duncan re fe rs , i s in many respects s im i la r to that of the tramp: 148 Some d r i f t e r s wander from community to community seeking a geographic solut ion to the i r problems; hoping to leave the i r problems behind, they f ind they have simply brought them to a new loca t ion . Others, who d r i f t from one l i v i n g s i tuat ion to another, can best be described as d r i f t i n g through l i f e ; they lead l i ves without goals, d i rec t ion or t i e s . . . L a c k of money often makes them unwelcome, and they may be evicted from family and f r iends . And they d r i f t because of a reluctance to become involved in a mental health treatment program or a supportive out-of-home environment, such as a halfway house or board-and-care home, that would give them a mental p a t i e n t i d e n t i t y and make them par t of the mental hea l th system.(12) A number of North American studies which have traced the or ig ins of skid row, have analysed the extent to which structural forces have inf luenced the problems af fect ing the t rad i t iona l and more recent residents.(13) The most commonly c i ted st ructura l forces inc lude: 1. The t rans i t i on from an agrarian to an indus t r ia l economy; 2. Large scale unemployment; 3. Poverty (often associated with personal in jury or misfortune); and 4. The breakdown of the t rad i t iona l family s t ructure, pa r t i cu la r l y the extended fami ly . The Origins of Skid Row The t r ans i t i on to an indus t r ia l economy in the la te 1800's and ear ly 1900's involved rapid soc ia l change as the western f ron t ie r was opened up to exp lo i t resources, and expand markets.(14) Since there was no provis ion for unemployment assistance during th is per iod, f am i l i es e s s e n t i a l l y had to provide for themselves when economic condit ions were poor. The men l e f t the i r fami l ies and communities to seek employment wherever they could f ind i t . As the western f ron t ie r was opening up, the i r search often led them to the resource industr ies as migrant workers, and to the skid row areas which grew up to accommodate them. Large numbers of unsk i l led and unattached men moved west and took up seasonal or i r regu la r employment in crude l i v i n g condi t ions. The work was 149 arduous, long and re la t i ve l y low paying. Three basic indus t r ies : lumbering, the ra i l road and seafaring indus t r ies , required the services of large numbers of unsk i l led labour, and prec ip i ta ted the development of skid row.(15) As the f ron t ie r began to be se t t l ed , skid rows developed in response to the employment needs of these resource-based indus t r ies : I t formed as a 'main stem', as the working man ca l led i t , with a number of necessary services concentrated on one street - a home and a market place for unattached non-permanent laborers.(16) Vanderkooi suggests that the concentration of large numbers of unattached males in d i s t i n c t geographic areas occurred without the t rad i t iona l community re la t ionsh ips . Af ter long periods of working in i s o l a t i o n , the laborers would head for the nearby towns, to be met by a plethora of i ns t i t u t i ons which had developed s p e c i f i c a l l y to exp lo i t them: the taverns, gambling p laces, houses of p ros t i t u t i on , stores and lodging houses. And as Rooney suggests: A l l of these fused into a d i s t i nc t i ve men's cu l tu re , character ized by d i f f e ren t ia t i on and i s o l a t i o n , i n oppos i t i on to the s tab le f a m i l y -oriented community.(17) Unemployment and Transience: The Growth of Skid Row Skid rows functioned as an employment centre for migrant workers, a place to 'h ibernate ' during the winter; a centre for recreat ion, the supply and ou t f i t t i ng centre, and a year - round res idence fo r casual workers . (18) However, as Bahr and others have pointed out, these areas are " inverse barometers of l o c a l economic c o n d i t i o n s " . ( 1 9 ) The severe economic depression of 1913-1915, produced one of a ser ies of unemployment c r i ses which were acutely f e l t in sk id row areas across the country.(20) S i m i l a r l y , the Great Depression of the 1930's, which most observers cons ide r to have been the most severe inc idence of homelessness in 150 Canada,(21) was not only much larger in scope than previous ones, but as Garrow points out: I t magn i f ied the problem of homelessness because previous methods of escaping an economic depression (by pursuing unsk i l led labouring jobs on the western f ron t ie r ) had disappeared. Conditions in the USA were as severe, therefore Canadians could not emigrate out of the depression.(22) The problem was pa r t i cu l a r l y serious fol lowing the depression of the 1930's, and as a resu l t of government v a c i l l a t i o n in the 1940's.(23) In 1932, the Ontario government became concerned that "bands of i d le men roaming about the country" represented a "threat to the peace of the community". As Hulchanski and Bacher point out, by the la te 1930's: The denial of r e l i e f by munic ipa l i t ies to homeless persons sparked a ser ies of p o l i t i c a l c r i ses in which author i t ies kicked the homeless from overcrowded hostels to federal r e l i e f camps, then to farms and summer rai lway const ruct ion, and f i n a l l y to provinc ia l r e l i e f camps. While ch iefs of po l i ce , mun ic ipa l i t i es , and provinc ia l governments had long advocated the establishment of "internment camps" for the s ingle unemployed, "the parsimonious" Charlotte Whitton heavi ly inf luenced the form such camps eventually took. She warned Prime Minister R.B. Bennett that the estimated 100,000 homeless t ransients in western Canada were forming a "movement" that was a menace to law, order, property and secur i t y . " Bennett accepted her advice that an "experienced m i l i t a r y o f f i c e r " be p laced in charge of the system of " concen t ra t i on camps."(24) Studies of the condit ions in the urban communities across the country during th is per iod r e f e r r e d to the homeless men as ' t r a n s i e n t s ' . ( 2 5 ) However, reports from Vancouver, Toronto and Winnipeg, i den t i f i ed important trends between the 1930's and 1960's which show that homelessness was c lea r l y re lated to st ructura l economic condi t ions. The geographic impl icat ions of these trends are highl ighted below:(26) 1. Large scale internal migration since 1930 occurred in response to a var iety of economic condit ions ranging from depression to prosperi ty "and appears to be a permanent charac te r i s t i c of our economy";(27) 2. Since 1930, B r i t i s h Columbia and Ontario in p a r t i c u l a r have been rece i v ing many more migrants than they lose , placing an added burden on already strained publ ic assistance programs in these provinces;(28) 151 3. The steady growth in urbanization has accompanied the expansion of indus t r ia l a c t i v i t y . With th is development the s i z e of the i n d u s t r i a l migratory labour force has increased and a larger sector of the community has become exceedingly vulnerable to i n d u s t r i a l f l u c t u a t i o n s . The twin growth of i n d u s t r i a l i z a t i o n and u r b a n i z a t i o n , which appears to be cont inuing, places a s teadi ly increas ing burden upon pub l i c a s s i s t a n c e programs; (29) According to the B r i t i s h Columbia study, three main types of homeless t ransient could be discerned: 1. those who had adopted the t rad i t iona l t ransient l i f e s t y l e , who were cut -o f f from family and f r iends ; 2. seasonal and migratory workers transplanted from the i r home community because of poverty, lack of work or unsuitable l i v i n g condi t ions; 3. unattached residents in urban core areas who had made skid row the i r home.(30) The fo l lowing quotation and s t a t i s t i c s show that there was a dramatic r i se in the number of people whose economic marginal i t y forced them to re ly on government r e l i e f in B r i t i s h Columbia during the peak of the Depression, but despite r e l a t i ve l y s ign i f i can t improvements in the economy af ter the War, poverty and unemployment, pa r t i cu la r l y among unattached ind iv idua ls remained s ign i f i can t throughout the 1950's: At the peak of the depression, 18% of the population was on r e l i e f or soc ia l allowance; in 1938 th is had dropped to 0.8%, and during the mid-war years only 7,804 persons were in receipt of a id in an estimated population of 900,000 (0.8%). Gradual ly, however, th is percentage increased such tha t by January 1960, 40,176 i n d i v i d u a l s were dependent on soc ia l allowance (2.5% of the populat ion). From 1943 to 1960, the population increased by 44%, whereas there was an 84% increase in socia l allowance rec ip ients (excluding other socia l assistance rec ip ients such as old-age, disabled and b l ind rec ip ien ts , and chi ldren in care).(31) 152 Recipients of Re l ie f ( including Re l ie f Camps) Or Social Allowance in B r i t i s h Columbia: 1933 -1960 (32) YEAR POPULATION ALL RECIPIENTS No. % of Pop. SINGLE INDIVS. No. % of Pop 1933 1938 1943 1948 1953 1958 1959 1960 694,263 817,861 900,000 1,082,000 1,248,000 1,544,000 1,570,000 1,606,000 121,234 66,574 7,804 11,956 14,746 22,509 36,112 40,176 (18%) (18%) (0.8%) (1.11%) (1.18%) (1.5%) (2.3%) (2.5%) 27,816 (23%) 12,769 (20%) 3,970 (50%) 5,599 (46%) 5,502 (37%) 6,838 (33%) 10,058 (27%) 11,349 (28%) Source: Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Dept. of Social Welfare. Report on  Homeless Transients in the Province of B .C . , Ju ly 1960. The propensity of the t ransients to migrate toward the larger urban areas can be seen in the fol lowing table which traces the increase in welfare rec ip ients between 1956 and 1960. The table shows that in f i ve years , the number of a l l socia l allowance rec ip ients roughly doubled in the province at la rge, in Region II where there i s the g rea tes t concen t ra t i on of the populat ion, and in Vancouver where they tended to concentrate in the inner c i t y core. As the report noted: Undoubtedly, the rate of socia l and economic dependency i s increasing at a fas ter rate than the populat ion; in fact in the past decade ('50 - '60) over three times as f as t , th is despite a r e l a t i ve l y favorable economy and a r i ch l y endowed province.(32) 153 INCREASE IN SOCIAL ALLOWANCE RECIPIENTS.[1] (B.C.,LOWER MAINLAND & VANC.) YEAR PROVINCE REGION II VANCOUVER 1 [SINGLE RECIPIENTS] LOWER MAINLAND Ci ty Metrop. Ci ty Metrop. 1956 19,472 6,752 4,323 2,180 1,860 533 1957 19,221 6,307 3,912 2,119 1,711 485 1958 22,509 7,662 4,779 4,912 2,053 541 1959 36,112 12,654 8,292 3,739 3,503 740 1960 40,176 13,692 8,629 4,379 3,688 817 1 RECIPIENTS ARE FAMILY HEADS AND SINGLE INDIVIDUALS AND DEPENDENTS, AND INCLUDE BOARDING AND NURSING HOME INDIVIDUALS. Source: Province of B r i t i s h Columbia, Department of Social Welfare. Report on  Homeless Transients in the Province of B . C . , Ju ly 1960. Changes in the Composition of the Skid Row Population In the aftermath of the Great Depression, there was a concerted e f fo r t to es tab l ish a network of socia l welfare programmes which would act as a socia l 'safety ne t ' . Unemployment insurance, family allowances, universal health care and o ld age pensions were i n t r o d u c e d , and by the mid-1940's, an Emergency Shelter Program had been establ ished to address homeless-related housing problems. The membership of Canada's skid rows al tered at th is time both numerically and in terms of i t s composition. The vast numbers of those made homeless by the depression had been reduced as a resu l t of WWII and the economic 'boom' which ensued in the period of post-war reconstruct ion.(33) As fewer migrant workers located to skid row, the area became dominated by those excluded from the labour market due to e i ther personal i n j u r y or misfortune: , These m i s fo r t unes , which included permanent or temporary d i s a b i l i t y , s ickness, a l coho l i sm or o ld age, impeded the at ta inment of steady employment. This resulted in such severe f inanc ia l problems for the affected ind iv idua ls that they had to re- locate to skid row because of 154 i t s cheaper l i v i n g costs.(34) A b r ie f overview of the transformation of Vancouver's downtown core w i l l serve to i l l u s t r a t e th is point . The or ig ina l c i t y core comprising Gastown, the Downtown Eastside and Chinatown was h i s t o r i c a l l y a sea of hotels and beer parlours with woodframe and brick structures which ranged in s ize from 3 to 10 storeys in height with 30 to 225 rooms:(35) As the c i t y changed and matured, these environments did not. The owners, operators and c l i en te l e clung to a way of l i f e that increasingly passed them by leaving them in a backwater of de ter io ra t ing , f i l t h y rooms, smelly beer parlours and dingy streets.(36) In 1961, the area contained 21,000 people, mostly older s ingle men; by 1981, the i r number had shrunk to jus t over 16,000, and by 1986, to 13,000: A l l the problems typ ica l of such environments ex is ted. Crime rates were high - mostly perpetrated against each other; drunkenness, panhandling, drug abuse, p ros t i t u t i on , kni fe f i gh t s , unsavory businesses and unsavory characters are a l l part of the scene. An environment which breeds death, disease and despair.(37) Over 80% of the residents were, and continue to be on some form of government ass is tance. Many have dr ink ing, hygiene, emotional and behavioral problems; a number have various other d i s a b i l i t i e s ; a v i s i b l e proportion are Native Indians who suffer from alcohol ism, d iscr iminat ion and lack of self-esteem and hope.(38) The transformation of the skid row population away from an "employment pool" can be seen in the fol lowing descr ipt ions of the residents in the area in 1973 and again in 1987: VANCOUVER COMMUNITY HEALTH SOCIETY 1973 What fol lows here i s a broad out l ine of the types of resident one would expect to f ind on the basis of what i s known of Vancouver's skid road and what can reasonably be i n f e r r e d from other sources . Frequency of occurrence of the types out l ined should be treated as "educated guesses". I t should also be noted tha t the four ca tego r i es are not mutua l ly exc lus ive . 155 a. Unemployable e lde r l y , i l l and handicapped This category includes three main sub-groups: a) the e lder ly who cannot work or cannot f ind work; b) those not in the labour force due to physical incapacity or i l l heal th; c) a l l others supported by pensions and social assistance rec ip ients c l a s s i f i e d as unemployable. Estimates of the s ize of the sub-groups suggest that about 60% of the population aged 15 years and over f a l l into th is category. b. Unemployed under 65, t ransients and d r i f t e r s This category includes those who are able to work but for various reasons choose not to do so. The numbers in skid road f a l l i n g into th is category are pa r t i cu la r l y hard to determine and are influenced by a seasonal in f lux of young people at t racted to low cost accommodation and proximity to Gastown. Employable welfare rec ip ients resident in the area are included here, and together with the younger temporary residents probably amount to 20% to 25% of the population under 65 years of age. c. Chronic a lcoho l ics and heavy drinkers Estimates for th is group have been quoted at between 25% and 45% of the male populat ion. A modest estimate of those impaired to the extent of being unable to work or care for themselves i s 30% of adult males, or 25% to 30% of the tota l adult populat ion. d. Low pa id , seasonal and migratory workers Taking the number of s ingle men of employable age r e c e i v i n g s o c i a l assistance into consideration by the length of time receiv ing ass is tance, and estimates derived from other s tud ies, i t appears that about 10% to 15% of the adult population f a l l s into th is category.(39) LOOKOUT EMERGENCY AID SOCIETY: 1987 Lookout was founded in 1971 as a 24-hour, seven-day-a-week f a c i l i t y which provides service to anyone who i s dest i tute and requires accommodation. Lookout has two programs: emergency accommodation (42 beds) and long term tenancy (39 beds). The majority of residents come from the Downtown Easts ide, but there are also people who come from the surrounding mun ic ipa l i t i es . Lookout of fers services to men and women with a l l types of problems: mental i l l n e s s , chronic a lcohol ism, drug add ic t ion , mental re tardat ion, l e g a l , physical a i lmen ts , e tc . Increasingly, many residents have been through the 'system' numerous 156 times and have 'burned the i r b r idges ' , or by the i r act ions/behaviour, may have al ienated themselves from others.(40) The f o l l o w i n g t a b l e , taken from the 1987 records shows the var iety personal problems and geographic c o n s i d e r a t i o n s which r e l a t e to t h i s par t i cu la r soc ia l l y marginalised group: P r o f i l e of Residents and Concerns: Lookout Emergency Aid Society General information Occupancy rate (%) 1982/82 - 78% 83/84 - 82% 84/85 - 82% 85/86 - 87% 86/87 - 90% Total bed nights 12878 Total people 1408 men; 392 women (20%). Ave.Length of stay 7 days Ave. Age of c l i e n t 32 years Ave. Men per month 117 Ave. Women " " 33 Referral Sources on Intake May'86 Ap r i l ' 87 Total '86-87 % From out of Vancouver 3 1 29 1 Pol ice 1 1 18 1 Emergency services 77 53 962 Wei fare 69 47 538 36 H o s p i t a l / c l i n i c 14 2 54 3 Mental health/care team 4 2 29 1 Detox/alcohol/drug f a c i l 0 0 14 1 Se l f / s t r ee t 19 14 137 7 Referral Reasons Vio lent h istory 10 13 67 2 Emotional support 79 55 869 22 Intoxicated 7 3 72 2 Medical needs 43 23 357 9 Psych ia t r i c problems 77 51 785 19 Alcohol/drug abuse 49 45 478 12 Behaviour 33 16 311 8 Transient 21 22 266 6 157 Income Source Welfare 125 93 1407 76 Handicapped pension 13 2 103 6 Other pensions 9 5 125 7 Dept. Vets A f fa i r s 3 1 26 1 Unemp. Insurance 0 3 9 0 Own 4 1 28 2 Ni l 12 14 147 8 Placements Own accommodation 33 37 551 25 Hospital 6 2 100 5 Special housing 2 7 102 5 Psych ia t r i c board home 1 1 14 1 Rest homes etc . 2 0 9 .5 Rehab i l i t . Centre 1 0 8 .5 Detox 1 4 30 1 Hostel 4 6 94 4 Other 104 63 769 35 Left 20 28 430 20 Received funds 5 12 64 3 Source: Lookout Emergency Aid Society, Annual Report, 1987 Summary Skid row areas t r ad i t i ona l l y served as a temporary refuge for the seasonal migratory labour force. I t was a place to r ide out the winter, to enjoy the f r u i t s of the i r labour, or to pass the time unt i l another job was found. It also functioned as a re l a t i ve l y safe haven for the t ransient men who had opted out of society and were d r i f t i n g from place to p lace. For them, the area contained services and a respi te from the road. By the 1960"s, however, the area v i r t u a l l y ceased to be a surplus 'employment p o o l ' . Skid rows cha rac te r i s t i ca l l y became the home of the ' s ing le older man on wel fare ' and an assortment of ' soc ia l m i s f i t s ' . Accommodation was cheap, and there was always the option of the missions, hostels and emergency shel ters i f a person needed a temporary place to s leep. 158 The strengthening of the social safety net in the 1940's, '50 's and ' 6 0 ' s , in conjunct ion wi th high economic p r o d u c t i v i t y and low unemployment, re inforced a growing popular perception that those who re l i ed on sk id row were there because of personal f a i l i n g s , not as a r e s u l t of s t r u c t u r a l condi t ions. The homeless began to experience the backlash of socia l stigma: They were to many, non-productive people in a f u l l y i ndus t r i a l i zed era-they had nothing to counter the scorn of the larger community and became more l i k e l y to "blame themselves" and not the social structure for the i r misfortunes.(41) While substant ial improvements in socia l welfare were introduced during the 19501 s and 1960's, they did not el iminate the sk id row p o p u l a t i o n , although they did contr ibute to i t s changing composition. I t was during th is period that a new group was added to the residents of skid row, seeking cheap accommodation, drawn to the support services and thankful for a community which was less inc l ined to st igmatise those with mental d i s a b i l i t i e s . The f o l l o w i n g d i s c u s s i o n t r a c e s t he p r o c e s s t h r o u g h w h i c h t h e de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on of mental pat ients into the community a l t e r e d the composition of the soc ia l l y marginalised in the inner c i t y . DEINSTITUTIONALISATION Stud ies of the homeless in the major Canadian c i t i e s which have invest igated the charac te r i s t i cs of residents in the emergency s h e l t e r s , hoste ls , rooming houses and on the s t ree ts , concur with s im i la r research in the United States and elsewhere, that there are i den t i f i ab le l i nks between homelessness (actual and po ten t ia l ) , mental i l l n e s s (par t i cu la r l y chronic condit ions) and de ins t i tu t iona l i sa t ion . (42) It i s argued here that the process of de ins t i tu t iona l i sa t ion resul ted in a fundamental sh i f t in the  locus of care, from the i ns t i t u t i on to the community. 159 G e o g r a p h i c a l l y , t h i s argument i s used to i l l u s t r a t e how structural processes and the ac t i ons of i n d i v i d u a l s have combined to p roduce i d e n t i f i a b l e s p a t i a l concen t ra t i ons of serv ice-dependent and s o c i a l l y ma rg ina l i sed groups w i t h i n the homeless p o p u l a t i o n wh ich were not t r ad i t i ona l l y associated with Canadian inner -c i ty areas. While i t i s shown that the re f lex ive re la t ions between s t ruc tu re and agency have important spat ia l consequences, there i s another dimension to th is issue of the changed locus of care which i s geographically s i gn i f i can t . Recent evidence points to the fact that a growing number of the homeless have never been i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s e d , suggesting that i t i s pa r t i cu la r l y important to examine the spat ia l factors which contr ibute to homeless-related problems. The a n a l y s i s extends Hopper and Baxter 's argument about the adaptive st rategies employed by the homeless (what they describe as Economies of Makeshift) to incorporate a discussion of how environmental and s i tuat iona l f a c t o r s aggravate and sometimes p r e c i p i t a t e home lessness . (43 ) The introduct ion of a geographic perspective into an analysis of the ef fects of large scale de ins t i tu t iona l i sa t ion broadens the t rad i t iona l scope of inquiry into a discussion of the di f ference which a par t i cu la r environment can make to a person's mental h e a l t h . As Dear and Wolch have suggested, the inadequate provis ion of a community-based support service network, coupled with poor urban, economic and socia l condi t ions, transformed the inner -c i ty from an ' i n c i p i e n t ghe t to ' i n to a 'coping mechanism' for the serv ice-dependent homeless. (44) These i n d i v i d u a l s are c h r o n i c a l l y unemployed, s o c i a l l y i s o l a t e d , h igh l y dependent on the social welfare network and subsis t ing below the poverty l i n e . In the i r e f fo r ts to cope outside the i n s t i t u t i o n , they g r a v i t a t e to inner -c i t y locat ions in search of cheap 160 accommodation, access to welfare and the support of other service-dependent people. These charac te r i s t i cs are frequently absent elsewhere in the c i t y , which in part accounts for the spat ia l concentration of th is new cadre of s o c i a l l y marginalised groups. However, because of the i r re l iance on the soc ia l welfare network, and as a resu l t of the i r l imi ted a b i l i t y to survive in the economic and social mainstream, the a t t rac t ion of the inner -c i ty i s transformed into a dependent re la t ionsh ip which can exacerbate the i r already s ign i f i can t problems: The inner -c i ty landscape i s one in which a rapid ly increasing demand for assistance i s met by diminishing capacity to supply both s h e l t e r and serv ices . The population at r i sk in th is system must be regarded as "po ten t ia l l y homeless". The subsequent experience of a s ingle adverse even t i s s u f f i c i e n t to t i p t h i s m a r g i n a l i z e d p o p u l a t i o n i n t o homelessness...(Thus) the fate of service-dependents in the community has been the conclusive factor in the creat ion of the new ghetto.(45) Three re lated sets of issues are examined below: 1. The re la t ionsh ip between de ins t i tu t iona l i s a t i o n , urban r e v i t a l i s a t i o n and homelessness; 2. Geographic approaches to the study of de ins t i tu t iona l i sa t ion and r e v i t a l i s a t i o n ; and 3. The s ign i f i cance of the inner -c i ty to the soc ia l l y marginalised homeless as a community, and a place to c a l l home. De ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t ion as a Prec ip i tant of Homelessness In 1946, a photographic essay in L i f e magazine shocked and incensed the American publ ic with c h i l l i n g revelat ions of naked patients in run-down, overcrowded wards in the Ph i lade lph ia State Hosp i ta l . Forty-two years l a t e r , the chron ica l ly mentally i l l are once again at the centre of a heated publ ic debate fol lowing the highly publ ic ised case of a former New Jersey secretary who became the f i r s t person to be removed invo lun tar i l y from the streets of New York for psych ia t r ic evaluation.(46) In a r e l a t i ve l y short period of t ime, concern over the way in which society responds to people with 161 mental d i s a b i l i t i e s has sh i f ted from "the back wards" to "the back a l l e y s " . The focus of th is concern centres around two re lated and often controversia l i ssues: de i ns t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on , and soc ie ty ' s respons ib i l i t y for providing appropriate and adequate support to soc ia l l y marginalised homeless people. For the purposes of th is d i sse r ta t i on : * De ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t ion implies granting asylum in the community to a large ly marginal populat ion, many of whom can cope only to a l im i ted extent with the ordinary demands of l i f e , have strong dependency needs, and are unable to l i v e independently;(47) * Although homelessness among the chron ica l ly mentally i l l i s c lose ly l i n k e d to d e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i s a t i o n , i t i s n o t t h e r e s u l t o f de ins t i tu t iona l i sa t ion per se, but rather of the way in which i t has been implemented; * I t i s the lack of systematic and comprehensive planning for structured l i v i n g arrangements and for adequate treatment and rehab i l i t a t i ve services in the community which has resul ted in many unforseen consequences, such as homelessness. The tendency to equate the concept of homelessness exc lus ive ly with the lack of a permanent roof over one's head, def lects at tent ion from what i s bel ieved to be an essent ia l d e f i c i t of homelessness, namely, the absence of a stable base of car ing or supportive ind iv iduals whose concern and support help buffer the homeless against the v ic i ss i tudes of l i f e . ( 48 ) In order to demonstrate how dei n s t i t u t i onal i s a t i on has p r e c i p i t a t e d homelessness, and the contingent e f fects which i t has t r iggered, at tent ion i s di rected i n i t i a l l y to the United States. As Gittelman observes, "no other i n d u s t r i a l i s e d country has reduced i t s p u b l i c mental hosp i t a l population as rap id l y , or has l e f t such a large proportion of them homeless as the U.S."(49) 162 According to S t e f l : D e i n s t i t u t i o n a l i z a t i o n , or the systemat ic depopulation of state and county psych ia t r ic f a c i l i t i e s , can best be i l l u s t r a t e d with s t a t i s t i c s . In 1955 there were 559,000 residents of publ ic psych ia t r ic hosp i ta ls . By 1 9 8 1 , t h a t f i g u r e had d r o p p e d to a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1 2 2 , 0 0 0 . De ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t ion was not, conceptually at l eas t , an abandonment of respons ib i l i t y for the chron ica l ly mentally i l l . Instead, the intent was to prov ide be t te r and l e s s expensive care in the less r e s t r i c t i v e community se t t i ng . Archi tects of the po l icy intended that do l la rs would f o l l o w the pat ient into the community mental health system; th is has simply not occurred in necessary measure. Most notab ly , appropr ia te community r e s i d e n t i a l p lacements, which would provide a var iety of s t r uc tu red and the rapeu t i c l i v i n g s i t u a t i o n s , have not been made a v a i l a b l e . Po l icymakers a l s o d id not an t i c ipa te the resistance of community mental health centres in providing a f u l l range of services to th is most d i f f i c u l t group of c l i en ts . (50) A number of studies have traced the h is tory of de ins t i t u t i ona l i sa t i on in the United States, making the case that homelessness i s a legi t imate mental health issue. (51) It i s suggested here that E. F u l l e r T o r r e y ' s book, Surviving Schizophrenia, presents the most comprehensive ana lys i s , although i t i s in teres t ing to note that his work i s not referenced by any of the research on the homeless mentally i l l found to date.(52) Torrey argues that unt i l the mid-1950's, v i r t u a l l y nobody asked what came af ter the hosp i ta l , for the simple reason that once committed, almost nobody l e f t the hosp i ta l : Schizophrenic patients entered state hospi ta ls with one-way t i cke ts and stayed there unt i l they died. Even today, one of the h o s p i t a l i z e d patients for whom I provide psychia t r ic care has been in the hospital continuously since 1909, when he was 20 years o ld . In the past th is was a re l a t i ve l y common f inding.(50) A dramat ic change took place in the 1950's, as pat ients began to be released from mental hosp i ta ls . This process occurred in two d i s t i n c t waves: I t i s important to note the d i f ferent proportion of released pat ients who went to the i r own homes in the f i r s t 200,000-patient reduction (1955-1968) compared with the second 200,000-group (1968-1980). In the f i r s t group, two-thirds of the patients were released to the i r own r e l a t i v e s ' homes. 163 In the second group only one-quarter went to the i r own r e l a t i v e s ' homes. The other three-quarters went to a var iety of p laces, but espec ia l ly to foster homes, boarding houses, nursing homes and cheap hotels.(54) Four major reasons are commonly c i ted for the unprecedented sh i f t away from state i n s t i t u t i o n s : the introduct ion of ant i -psychot ic drugs such as chlorpromazine which provided a simple means of calming the psychotic and suppress ing t h e i r ha l luc ina t ions and delusions;(55) a new philosophy of socia l treatment; and what Torrey desc r ibes a s , "a d i ve rse mixture