Dalhousie researchers release study on homelessness, COVID-19 ‘disaster’ – Halifax

Social science and humanities researchers from Dalhousie University have been finding out the homelessness scenario in Nova Scotia and the COVID-19 pandemic, and the way the 2 have an effect on one another.

Jeff Karabanow, professor and affiliate director at Dalhousie College’s College of Social Work says the pandemic has solely intensified the continued struggles of these residing with out protected housing choices amid public well being restrictions like lockdowns, which had been meant to maintain everybody protected. He says the response to the well being disaster disproportionately affected these most weak locally.

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“One in all our findings from the examine was that the pandemic was a catastrophe however homelessness can be a catastrophe and it was a catastrophe method earlier than the pandemic,” mentioned Karabanow.

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The examine is a snapshot of the homelessness scenario in Halifax and in Sydney, N.S. through the first and second waves of the coronavirus pandemic, which noticed a handful of Dalhousie well being researchers work with homeless contributors who shared their experiences from the second the state of emergency was declared.

The examine was carried out between February and April 2020 and focussed on the 2 largest municipalities in Nova Scotia – the Halifax Regional Municipality and Cape Breton Regional Municipality – the place researchers adopted and interviewed 28 people experiencing homelessness as nicely 24 service stakeholders.

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Karabanow mentioned it was vital to behave rapidly and study how those that had been unhoused and people working within the service sector navigated their method by the challenges of the general public well being emergency and the continued housing disaster.

“These contributors who had been experiencing homelessness that we had been working with, all mentioned they felt deserted, they felt like they had been utterly alone,” mentioned Karabanow. “Simply think about how exhausting it’s to search out assets when town was open, however now you’re beginning to see town shut down in a single day and there’s simply nothing for them.”

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Whereas Nova Scotians had been instructed to “Keep the blazes house,” the homeless populations and people most marginalized had been pushed additional to the fringes mentioned Karabanow, because the homeless inhabitants already faces disproportionate boundaries which had been additional exacerbated due to the pandemic and subsequent public well being lockdowns.

“We’re seeing extra folks which are residing tough and open air and we’re seeing shelters full, and they’re normally full however now they’ve longer waitlists,” mentioned Karabanow, who has labored in shelters in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Ontario.

Karabanow says the examine exhibits these working within the social companies sector went above and past their calling, using the assets that they had out there but in addition displaying nice capability to collaborate with different stakeholders and use “out of the field considering” to give you fast options.

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Shelters in Nova Scotia dodged the worst of COVID-19 says Karababow as a result of the shelter service suppliers and the federal government acted rapidly and decreased the variety of folks in shelters and utilized lodge rooms for protected and dignified emergency housing choices.

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Persons are starting to take discover of the housing disaster and the homelessness scenario says Karabanow, noting the general public has been rallying across the trigger and advocating for options, which is resulting in constructive adjustments.

“We see the municipality, we see the province and we see the (federal authorities) all talking concerning the housing disaster and the way we inject some type of assets, hope and creativeness, to create some type of supportive mechanism.”

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The pandemic continues because the fourth wave sweeps throughout the Atlantic provinces however already there are classes to be realized from the examine so as to cope with the homelessness disaster, like taking steps to right away improve the protected and inexpensive housing inventory says Karabanow. However that’s only one first step.

“The concept of the examine was to additionally present a roadmap,” mentioned Karabanow. “As a result of we’re going to have increasingly more environmental disasters and so we have to have a method that we are able to get collectively in a short time to work on options.”

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https://globalnews.ca/information/8245178/dalhousie-study-covid-homelessness/ | Dalhousie researchers launch examine on homelessness, COVID-19 ‘catastrophe’ – Halifax


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