Homeless Stereotypes Debunked by New Study

(ConservativeInsider.org) – Researchers at the University of British Columbia conducted a project to review how stereotypes are inaccurate regarding how people experiencing homelessness spend money given to them. Vancouver, the largest city in British Columbia, is slightly smaller than its southern neighbor, Seattle, Washington, but is experiencing the same struggle with homelessness. Both Canada and the United States report stereotypes that homeless people spend money on frivolous goods, drugs, or alcohol, but research is proving that stereotype false.

Expanding on a similar U.S. project, they tracked 50 homeless people and gave them $7,500 as a lump sum. The people granted the funds spent their money on housing, transportation, and food. They spent fewer days in a shelter or hospital. It should be noted that the project did not include people with substance use or mental health issues. Researchers claim that most people experiencing homelessness do not suffer from substance abuse or severe mental health issues.

There are significant discrepancies in how homeless people are counted in Canada. Many people live in RVs, trailers, or tents, are undocumented until they need medical care, and end up in the Emergency Room. Experts disagree about how to find and count homeless people. One rural shelter notes that they must turn away people every week because they cannot get the funding they need without a proper count of who is seeking refuge; they state that they are stuck in a never-ending loop of trying to balance the number of people who need their services with the with the need to count all of them in order to get sufficient funding.

On the other side of Canada, the most populated province, Ontario, was working towards a basic income project that would provide universal income for low-income people before the conservative party squashed it. Canada’s minister of finance continues to monitor income in relation to inflation and is looking for solutions to their homelessness problem.

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