Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada received funding from the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy program in 2021 to conduct research and produce a National Urban Inuit Housing and Homelessness Needs Assessment.
This project took a phased approach with this report culminating the completion of more than 90 formal interviews with Inuit service providers and Inuit with lived experience. Additionally, the project completed research from interviews with non-Inuit service providers, examined international homelessness approaches and strategies to leverage those practices for the betterment of Inuit in Canada, completed a literature review focused on the adequacy and effectiveness of homelessness programs and services for urban Inuit in Canada, and an overview of homelessness and housing programs and services in the 12 designated urban centres.
Based on formal and informal interviews, it is apparent each person has a unique experience contributing to their entrance to, and experience of, homelessness or housing insecurity. As such, creating services and opportunities for the possibility of assessing individual needs ought to be considered during the revision, development, and implementation of housing related services. Interviews revealed unique compounding factors and gaps that can lead to homelessness for Inuit and may be categorized as follows:
- lack of available and affordable housing,
- minimal education and employment opportunities,
- shortage of culturally specific supports to address mental health and substance misuse disorders,
- experiences of trauma, including gender-based and partner-based violence and
- experiences of discrimination, racism, gender-based inequity, and colonialism experienced when relocating from Inuit Nunangat to urban centres.