Barely two decades ago the world''s experts in housing policy
were giving Canada high marks for its progressive housing policies.
Until recently, our own common understanding of homelessness had
been limited to occasional wanderers, eccentrics, boozers or
addicts. Yet, as a new century dawns, homelessness as we recognize
it has changed and grown, offering painful reminders of the
soup-kitchen lineups of the depression era.
Homelessness is a rapidly growing social problem. Measured in
terms of displaced persons, the dimensions of the crisis rival
those found during natural disasters such as the Quebec and
Manitoba floods, or the great ice storm of ''98.
Today''s homelessness in Canadian communities represents a
relatively new phenomenon, difficult to comprehend in this land and
time of plenty. How did this happen? How did we get here? What can
be done to solve it?
Jack Layton, one of this country''s leading experts and
outspoken activists on housing issues, addresses the crisis from
its roots, in order not only to understand the problem, but to find
workable solutions. With a stunning combination of rigorous
research and compelling personal anecdote, and trenchant and timely
analysis from such wide-ranging sources as social scientists,
housing economists, mayors, journalists, clergy and the homeless
themselves, Homelessness offers insight, perspective and
proactive solutions to a seemingly intractable crisis.