Getting Ahead of the New Homelessness by 2030

Dr. Alina Turner

In September 2015, Canada and 192 other UN member states committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This 15-year global initiative focuses on 17 ambitious Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), encompassing 169 targets and over 230 indicators. It aims to create a secure world, eliminating poverty and hunger, ensuring full and productive employment, providing quality education and universal health coverage, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls, and stopping environmental degradation.

Moreover, the conversation around homelessness solutions is increasingly polarized, often reduced to binary narratives that oversimplify its complexities and fail to address the diverse needs of those affected. In these challenging times, there’s a need for more nuanced and comprehensive discussions about homelessness, moving beyond simplistic views to develop effective, long-term strategies. Recognizing homelessness as both a symptom and a contributor to various social issues is crucial for a holistic approach, underlining the importance of integrating strategies like those in the 2030 Agenda to address interconnected social Challenges. 

As we navigate these challenging times, it is crucial to engage in more nuanced and comprehensive conversations about homelessness, looking beyond simplified narratives to develop effective, long-term strategies. In a holistic view, it is crucial to understand that homelessness does not occur in isolation; it is often both a cause and a consequence of various other social issues.

At HelpSeeker, we engage with various social challenges across all jurisdictions within the non-profit, philanthropic, and private sectors. This has granted us a unique perspective, particularly on the critical issue of homelessness. Our work spans diverse areas, including public safety, food security, mental health, addiction, child development, and even specialized issues like pet welfare. This broad scope allows us to deeply understand the nuances of these challenges at the local level as we traverse the country and delve into how these issues interconnect with public policy, resource allocation, and global trends.

Our position is unique, and we recognize the responsibility to contribute our insights and knowledge to the broader conversation. Our strength is handling data on complex social challenges offering new perspectives and understanding.

As we approach 2030, we are focused on forecasting the evolving landscape of homelessness, including its less visible forms, and integrating these insights into national-level political discussions. We believe in proactively starting these debates, armed with data and informed positions, to better serve our communities.

Central to our position is the belief that everyone deserves a safe, secure, and affordable place to call home, where they can belong and realize their full potential. This belief guides our strategies and solutions, pushing us to look beyond the status quo in addressing homelessness. We understand that market forces alone cannot cater to all income segments, a lesson repeatedly learned throughout history.

As a private sector entity with a social purpose, our operational model differs significantly from traditional nonprofits or charities. We advocate for diverse solutions to tackle the housing problem, recognizing that the real estate market often fails to address the needs of the most marginalized. Therefore, we aim to build capacity for a ‘third path’ that is neither wholly reliant on government support nor entirely driven by corporate interests. This path blends elements of both, aiming for a swift, agile, and person-centric approach that explicitly targets lower-income households and those with complex care needs, often overlooked and mis-served by charitable and public organizations and the private market.

We aim to foster innovative solutions and build a more inclusive and supportive social safety net ecosystem. We believe in the power of collaboration and the importance of multifaceted strategies to address the ongoing challenges in housing and homelessness.

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