When we start to talk about housing in North America and indeed globally, there are many issues that can be discussed. The right of very human being to having a home they can live in, raise a family and enjoy is one that many of us take for granted. At times we seem to find it easier to understand someone in a third world country not having a home but we then ignore or by pass fellow citizens that are sleeping on the street, or living in inadequate or unsafe housing, or are living in a home they may not be able to afford in a week or a month from now.

We even have difficulty defining subjects such as homelessness with many only be concerned with those who currently have no place to live, with little or no consideration of those living in shelters or living in a very precarious situation.

Our Social justice collaborators are currently discussing the many and at times very complex issues when we discuss housing in North America. As part of these discussions, we place an emphasis on looking at this issue with a very broad view which includes many related topics and factors. We welcome reader comments as one way to gather relevant and helpful information.

Housing and homelessness are issue which are national, regional (state/provincial) and local municipal issues that all levels of government must act on. Housing is an issue we can all act in at these various levels. There is also a wealth of public information and statistics available which can be used to develop some actions that can lead to solutions regarding housing and homelessness. There is likely no other element for a person’s human dignity than having a place they can call home. There are some great initiatives taking place, both within the Vincentian family, and in the larger sphere. The time I both right and relevant to discuss how we can do more, use existing resources and advocate for more to be done.

Editors note:  This is a group of Vincentian Family members who meet regularly at the request of the leaders of their respective branches. Their reflections do not represent Vincentian Family policy, but are shared to spur our reflection and action. Look for these contributions the third Thursday of each month. Comments are very much appreciated. 

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