Beyond Shelters
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Beyond Shelters

Solutions to Homelessness in Canada from the Front Lines

Edited by James Hughes

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Newspapers, television and films cast homeless shelters as places of desperation, sadness and sickness. However, over the last 25 years, homeless shelters have changed dramatically.

Shelters have become more professional and sophisticated in addressing homelessness in their communities. They now do much more than provide a bed and a meal for the night — they offer different methods of intervention, different types of services and different forms of connection to the communities they serve.

This book offers essays by experienced shelter managers who address the future of the homeless shelter in Canada. This diverse collection also includes a chapter by Dr. Sam Tsemberis, the father of the successful Housing First Model. There are contributions by leaders in the homelessness field from across Canada, who have been at the forefront of developing unique services for women, youth, Indigenous people, and families. The days of shelters serving to merely warehouse homeless people out of sight and mind are being replaced by specialized approaches that are reducing homelessness in Canada.

The contributors have years of experience understanding the causes of and solutions to homelessness and the role that shelters can play in achieving their ultimate goal — the elimination of all forms of homelessness in Canada.


Introduction The Shelterscape in Canada, James Hughes

Chapter 1 Shelters and Housing First, Dr. Sam Tsemberis (International)

Chapter 2 Mitigating Harm to Women, Heather Davis (Corner Brook, NL)

Chapter 3 Advocacy Centre, Brian Duplessis (Fredericton, NB)

Chapter 4 Agent of Social Integration, Matthew Pearce (Montreal, QC)

Chapter 5 The Social Emergency Room, Michel Simard (Trois-Rivières, QC)

Chapter 6 Homes, Jobs and Friends, Dion Oxford (Toronto, ON)

Chapter 7 Youth Prevention and Early Intervention, Tammy Christensen, Denisa Gavan-Koop and Kelly Holmes (Winnipeg, MB)

Chapter 8 The Community Hub, Cora Gajari (Regina, SK)

Chapter 9 A New Model of Care, Dr. John Rook (Calgary, AB)

Chapter 10 Restoring Community, Karen Hoeft (Edmonton, AB)

Chapter 11 Decolonizing the North, Arlene Haché (Yellowknife, NT)

Chapter 12 Addressing Crisis, Trudi Shymka (Vancouver, BC)

Conclusion The Way Forward for Homeless Shelters in Canada, James Hughes

Contributor Bios

Endnotes and References


"Beyond Shelters is a timely reminder of the importance of homeless shelters in the communities they serve. It is also an eloquent shout out to all governments that they needs to do more in supporting shelters and in creating healthy policy environments to drive down the number of homeless people in places like Fredericton, NB, where I live. My government (2006-10) introduced the first Housing and Homelessness Plan for the province but more, much more, needs to be done. Beyond Shelters helps to articulate the way forward."

- Shawn Graham, former Premier of New Brunswick

"This book reveals how austerity measures introduced in the 1990's led to 235,000 people a year or more experiencing homelessness. More than this, it presents the thought and actions of a heroic group of shelter administrators, advocates and social innovators who not only prevented matters from getting even worse, but who have reshaped their organizations and influenced social policy to put us on the path towards ending homelessness altogether."

- Stephen Huddart, President and CEO of the McConnell Foundation

This book is an invaluable resource for anyone working in—or writing about—the shelter system. I learned lessons I wish I had known as a journalist. It is an eye‑opener for Canadians who don't realize how homeless shelters have evolved since their inception in the '80s as charities dispensing meals, showers, and temporary beds.

- Carol Goar Literary Review of Canada

JAMES HUGHES has worked as a senior administrator in social services for more than fifteen years. He served as Director General of the Old Brewery Mission, Quebec's largest centre serving homeless people. He was the Deputy Minister of Social Development in New Brunswick from 2008 to 2011 and now works for the Montreal based McConnell Foundation. He is the author of Early Intervention: How Canada's social programs can work better, save lives, and often save money. He lives in Montreal.

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Publication Details:

Binding: Paperback, 256 pages
Publication Date: 2nd October 2018
ISBN: 9781459413559
Format: 9in x 6in
20+ b&w images

Binding: Electronic book text, 256 pages
Publication Date: 2nd October 2018
ISBN: 9781459413566
Format: EPUB
20+ b&w images

Binding: Electronic book text
Publication Date: 2nd October 2018
ISBN: 9781459413573
Format: PDF
20+ b&w images

BISAC Code:, HIS006020, HIS054000, POL019000, SOC045000, SOC050000
Imprint: Lorimer


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