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Economics Assignment: Implications Of Homelessness In Canada


Choose ONE of the following contemporary issues and prepare an economics assignment discussing its importance in Canada today. That is, how does this issue affect such groups as families, your local community, your profession, school, or workplace?

  1. Homelessness
  2. Responding to Authority
  3. School Culture and Power
  4. Canadian Identities


Introduction to Economics Assignment

Homelessness is an economic problem as people without housing and social status are high consumers of public resources as well as generate expense compared to income for the community. In addition, it is also a public health problem as they lack access to health care while suffering from chronic illness due to challenging living conditions. Likewise, since the business year 1997, homelessness has grown widely in Canada that has further raised significant complexity, and has become a major social issue. Although Canada spends around 30 billion each year on social service programs for the homeless, it has been analysed that the number of homeless people has increased due to the covid-19 pandemic in terms of lack of housing options and fears of shelter outbreaks. Based on such context, this essay aims to discuss the importance and implications of homelessness in Canada today by evaluating its potential impact on families, local community, profession, and workplace in a detailed manner.


It has been well indicated by Allen (2000), the complexities and vulnerabilities surrounding marginalization, poverty, and despair on the mean streets of Vancouver and other parts of Canada force people from their homes to the streets. This means that homelessness is a human tragedy as the community members are forced to live in tents and under bridges, stripped of dignity and collective respect as well as vulnerable to inclement violence and weather. Other than that, homeless people struggle with both addiction and mental illness to self-medicate untreated or undiagnosed mental illness. In addition, most people who are homeless have been victims of sexual or physical abuse at some point in their lives. When compared to homeless and low-income families, it has been identified that children or youth experiencing homelessness indicate higher levels of behavioural and emotional problems. This intensifies the increased risk of serious health problems which directly impact family and society to a large extent in terms of both economic and psychological aspects. Hence, it can be stated that homelessness is of grave importance at present as such contemporary issue needs to be well addressed specifically in the present covid-19 crisis. 

On the other hand, (2021) argued that at present 20% of the homeless population in Canada is encompassed of youth between the ages of 12-24 which leads to around 35,000-40,000 youth experiencing homelessness. As a result, it directly impacts their families and community. Both the adults and youth experiencing homelessness, leave their homes in which they are highly dependent on caregivers including parents, family, or relatives in terms of social and economic dependencies. On the contrary, compared to adults, it has been analysed that youth homelessness has been rising in Canada as leaving home without the experience of independent living and inability to get along with their parents and families. Other than that, poor living conditions can directly impact the mental and physical well-being of individuals. Unsanitary and inadequate living conditions can further contribute to the spread of diseases like the covid-19 virus, which adds health care costs and threatens the well-being of the community members and wider society. As a whole, it can be stated that some commonalities that lead to homelessness for adults and young people are system failures in health care and corrections (inability to comprehend the difference between emotional, physical, social, and mental development) and lack of affordable housing. 

As put forward by Li (2003), the contemporary immigration issues initiated due to globalisation, immigration, race, and ethnic relations have been one of the public debates. Likewise, it has been analysed that around 14% of people were newcomers to Canada were around 8% were immigrants, 4% as refugee claimants, and 3% identified as refugees. This means that immigration issues directly influence the increasing rate of homelessness in Canada. In addition, this type of homelessness can adversely affect local communities as they highly experience rough sleep and street drinking. This in turn directly impacts the harmony and gratification of the community. Also, as immigrants are highly susceptible to homelessness their lack of address and living standards can become a huge obstacle to finding jobs as employers are put off with irregular addresses on job applications. This means that homelessness directly impacts the scope of finding jobs as well as the ability to enhance professional aspects. Other than that, many studies have further indicated that homelessness is a human right issue and the rising homelessness are implications of family violence, lack of healthcare, social isolation, inconsistent education, and behaviour problems. This is not only experienced by adults or children but also immigrants from other nations who are lacking housing and adequate healthcare in the society and community to a large extent.

As stated by Allen (2000), people experiencing homeless and near-homeless are framed with the economic and political structures of which facility is a significant part. As employment is a pathway out of poverty as well as the requirement for social inclusion, homelessness can affect the amount and stability of income. In addition, it has been further comprehended that individuals experiencing homelessness are more likely to lack skillsets such as skills for vocational engagement, stress management, independent living skills, and social skills which are essential for an individual’s job readiness. As a result, homeless people lack experience and potential skill set for enhancing their profession and effective engagement at the workplace. This in turn further increases the rate of homelessness in Canada. Hence, it is highly essential for lawmakers to focus on employment as it can assist homeless people to have sustained and sufficient income to meet their basic needs which can contribute to society, community, workplace, and family to a large extent. 

As argued by Layton (1999), the complexities surrounding homelessness needs to be well addressed by the Canadian government as considering homeless people as a consumer of public resources, referring them as crack dealers and beggars and quoting as earning professional wages and free food consumers is highly debatable and can be referred as blaming the victim. In addition, without considering homelessness as an economic problem and focusing on its mitigation, it directly affects the local community and family of the victims as they are highly vulnerable to physical or sexual abuse. Homelessness is the direct impact of lack of employment and sustainable living condition which can directly put a strain on community and family as it increases stress on the individuals. Other than that, the political complexities surrounding homelessness have been highly evidenced when the federal coordinator for homelessness announced that government would contribute $753-million to build shelters and housing which was highly demeaned by public entities. Hence, it can be stated that the focus on eliminating the root cause of homelessness is minimal in Canada compared to its criticism which is affecting the lives of people, family, local community, and workplace.

It has been well indicated by Thomas (2021), the covid-19 pandemic has intensified the current struggles of people who are living without safe housing options due to public health restrictions and protocols that were meant to keep everyone safe. This lockdown and other public health restrictions have disproportionately affected the homeless population in the community of Canada. In addition, the people who are living rough and outdoors including marginalized and homeless populations are facing disproportionate barriers in terms of healthcare, housing, and adequate living which are further exacerbated due to the pandemic and subsequent public health lockdowns. As homelessness directly impacts society, community, and family, it can directly increase the chances of taking drugs, mental health problems, or physical health problems which can further affect the scope for professional growth. Social forces including mental illness, addictions, and family breakdown are compounded by structural forces which include insufficient mental health services, lack of low-cost housing, and poor economic conditions. Therefore, it can be stated that the need to provide adequate housing to the homeless community can directly reduce the healthcare costs and emergency costs of the nation which can assist to enhance societal orientation and economic prosperity in the long haul.


In conclusion, it can be stated that homelessness is a problem with a solution but due to social, political, and economic complexities, the contemporary issue of homelessness has been sustaining in the nation of Canada for ages. Additionally, it has been analysed that the causes of homelessness are ignorant to the lawmakers at present specifically after the covid-19 crisis which has certainly increased the rate of homelessness in Canada. As a result, it has been directly impacting the welfare and prosperity of people, family, community, society, profession as well as the workplace at an extensive level. Hence, it is of grave importance for lawmakers and relevant agencies to focus on the present issue of homelessness as it is directly impacting the economy and societal orientation in the nation. Lastly, as the pandemic continues, the homelessness crisis is rising exponentially in Canada which means they need to take immediate steps to increase the affordable and safe housing stock is primitive.


Allen, T. C. (2000). Someone to talk to: Care and control of the homeless. Halifax, NS: Fernwood. (2021). Youth | The Homeless Hub. Retrieved 30 November 2021, from

Layton, J. (1999, December 22). Don’t blame the victims. The Globe and Mail, pp. A21.

Li, P.S. (2003). The social construction of immigrants. Economics assignmentDestination Canada (pp. 38-57). Don Mills, Ont.: Oxford University Press.

Thomas, J. (2021). Dalhousie researchers release study on homelessness, COVID-19 ‘disaster’ - Halifax | Retrieved 30 November 2021, from


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