• Portrait of Homelessness in First Nations Communities in Quebec
Dec 20, 2016

Last November, the FNQLHSSC published the Portrait of Homelessness in First Nations Communities in Quebec. This portrait, produced by the Research Sector, is an exploratory study based on the findings on a literature review and a data collection survey conducted in 13 First Nations communities in 2016.

The portrait explores the different forms of homelessness found in the communities, the profile of at-risk individuals for each form, and the principal factors that can lead a person into homelessness or to remaining homeless. The portrait also estimates the scale of the situation.

The portrait demonstrates that hidden homelessness (insecure housing [couchsurfing], unfit housing and extreme overcrowding) is widespread in the communities, primarily due to the housing crisis as well as a presence of strong family values of solidarity. Visible homelessness (or rooflessness) is also found in First Nations communities. However, this form of homelessness fluctuates by season, as individuals often return to situations of insecure housing in the winter, or migrate to urban centres to take advantage of services for the homeless that communities often lack.

Several individual and structural factors may lead individuals to homelessness. The portrait sheds light on many of these factors, including mental health and addiction problems, childhood trauma, the loss of a family member, domestic violence, family network fatigue, chronic housing shortage, discrimination and racism. The portrait also shows that homelessness affects men and women differently.

You can consult the Portrait of Homelessness in First Nations Communities in Quebec on the FNQLHSSC’s virtual Documentation Centre at https://centredoc.cssspnql.com/.