Poll supports launch of new national campaign and broad coalition
OTTAWA, Feb. 26, 2013 /CNW/ - With new polling information showing more
than 50% of Canadians are unaware of the real extent of women's
homelessness, YWCA Canada, the country's single largest provider of
shelter for women, is in the nation's capital today to launch Homes for
Women, a broad-based, long term, national campaign to prevent, reduce
and eventually end women's homelessness. YWCA Canada is joined by Homes
for Women campaign partners the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry
Societies and Canada Without Poverty-Advocacy Network and supported by
the Canadian Labour Congress.
"We are in this campaign until we succeed," says Paulette Senior, CEO of
YWCA Canada, "and with over 100 years of history, we can go the
distance. It's unacceptable that women struggle to live without a safe
home. A year ago we reported that homelessness has become a women's
issue. Today, with organizations across the country, we say it's time
to turn this trend around. It's time to make sure every woman and girl
in Canada has a safe place to sleep, every night, in every community.
We know it can be done."
On learning about the extent of women's homelessness, two-thirds of
those in the national survey ranked it as equal to, or more important
than, their previous number one concern.
"With depleted social service and health systems no longer providing
adequate accommodation, criminal justice and correctional systems are
increasingly the only response to women," says Kim Pate, Executive
Director of the Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies.
"Prisons are not an appropriate response to women's homelessness."
"Canada needs a national housing strategy now," says Leilani Farha,
Executive Director of Canada Without Poverty-Advocacy Network. "Bill
C-400 is before the House of Commons for a vote tomorrow night and
we're calling on MPs to give it their full support. We need federal
leadership to make sure the human right to adequate housing is actually
implemented in Canada, especially for those most vulnerable to
"Safe, affordable, quality housing is necessary to help women enter the
work force or participate in training programs. You need to put down
roots in order to grow and flourish," says Barbara Byers, Executive
Vice-President of the Canadian Labour Congress. "Governments need to
get back in action on housing".
"Poverty in general is complex and women with low-incomes especially
feel the brunt of poverty," says Harriett McLachlan, Board of Directors
President, Canada Without Poverty. "In my personal and professional
experiences many live in intolerable housing situations, such as being
'forced' to stay with an abusive partner because she cannot afford a
place of her own, or choosing between buying food or paying rent, or
like myself living with rats for 10 years. In a country as wealthy as
Canada this is not acceptable and is in violation of basic human
Polling showed solid support for both a national campaign to end women's
and girls' homelessness and a national housing strategy as effective
tools for change.
The opinion poll was an online survey conducted by the national research
firm Strategic Communications Inc. from February 6th to 8th, 2013,
hosted on the Angus Reid forum. The poll's sample is reflective of
Canada's actual regional, gender, education and age composition
relative to the 2006 Census. A probabilistic sample of this size (2060)
yields a margin of error of ±-2.2 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
About YWCA Canada:
YWCA Canada is the country's oldest and largest women's multi-service
organization. With 32 Member Associations across the country, our
programs serve women and girls in nine provinces and two territories.
YWCA Canada is the nation's single largest provider of shelter to women
and children fleeing violence, the second largest provider of child
care services, and an active member of the World YWCA. For more
information visit www.ywcacanada.ca, find us on Twitter @YWCA_Canada or at www.facebook.com/ywcacanada.
SOURCE: YWCA Canada
For further information:
Contact Laura Tilley, Manager of Communications at 416-962-8881 x 233 to set up an interview with:
Paulette Senior, CEO, YWCA Canada
Ann Decter, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, YWCA Canada
Harriett McLachlan, President, Board of Directors, Canada Without Poverty
For an interview with:
Kim Pate, Executive Director, Canadian Association of Elizabeth Fry Societies, phone 1-800-637-4606 or 1-613-238-2422.
Barbara Byers, Executive Vice-President, Canadian Labour Congress, 1-613-863-8522
Leilani Farha, Executive Director, Canada Without Poverty-Advocacy Network, phone: 1-613-302-7769 or 1-613-789-0115