Recognizing World Homelessness Day: October 10, 2022
Written in collaboration with Jenny Huntley.
World Homeless Day which is now held on almost every continent emerged from online worldwide aid worker discussions starting from 2010. It is observed every year on the 10th of October. The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to people who experience homelessness and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to this issue.
In Toronto alone, it is estimated that 18,096 individuals are experiencing homelessness, while there are only 3,529 shelter beds available as a short term solution. (Stats from homeless hub, 2021)
In this post, we are sharing some action ideas on how you can make difference along with some resources and reading recommendations to help raise awareness of this important issue.
How to Make a Difference
- Learn yourself and educate others – use the day as an opportunity to learn about the issues homeless are facing and raise awareness in your community.
- Host a World Homeless Day fundraiser – any fundraising effort can turn into a huge gain for those needing support. Simplest ideas like scavenger hunt, bake sale, art show, dance marathon, or a race can be used to inspire and motivate people to get involved.
- Make a donation – every penny matters. Look for trustworthy charities. There are many that focus on global homelessness and some that are dedicated to specific countries. Despite financial donations, many organisations are happy to accept products such as clothes, blankets, gift cards, food, toiletries, etc.
- Thank volunteers – use the day as an opportunity to thank volunteers for all the hard work they do. Any gesture of appreciation like tagging them in social media, sending a postcard, or planting a tree or a plant in volunteers’ honour would be inspirational.
- Highlight local issues – despite multiple efforts, there are many local issues that are not yet spoken about. Contribute to society by bringing up the issues locally or in the media.
- Volunteer - provide hands-on help supporting local shelters and organisations that need assistance.
Related Community Resources
Community plans by City of Toronto
Homeless counts and data in Toronto
Reports/research on homelessness in Toronto and Canada
- Street Needs Assessment Results Report
- Toronto Street Needs Assessment 2021
- Toronto's Vital Signs Report: 2019
- Who's Hungry 2019: Profile of Hunger in the Toronto Region
- Stress Report: A snapshot of socioeconomic status, housing quality and crime across Toronto neighbourhoods
- Innovation & Technology in Data Collection: Connecting with the Shelter-Avoiding Homeless
- Hunger Report 2020
- Homelessness Solutions — Service Plan
- State of Homelessness in Canada: 2013
- Housing First in Canada: Supporting Communities to End Homelessness
- 2021 Census: Population and Dwelling Counts
- Eviction Prevention in the Community (EPIC) Pilot Program Evaluation
- 2019-2021 Community Homelessness Report Summary - Toronto
Post edited on Nov 08, 2022: changed the image at the beginning of the post.