Drivers of Homelessness Event Video

On June 22, local, provincial, and national experts on housing and homelessness discussed “Drivers of Homelessness: Findings for Action” – a new report authored by the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria (CSPC) and funded by SPARC-BC.

The report shows how structural factors and systems failures interact with personal crises to drive people towards homelessness. The risk of entering homelessness is widespread; and many households are just one personal crisis away from entering homelessness due to the prevailing structural and systemic conditions. Other key findings show that homelessness prevention works. The large majority of individuals who accessed CSPC programs were at imminent risk of homelessness and would have likely entered homelessness without support.

Watch the full video to learn more!

Infographic: CSPC_Drivers-of-Homelessness-ExecSumm.pdf

View the full report: CSPC_Drivers of Homelessness Report_2022_R3

Press Release: Event Press Release.docx

Video: Drivers of Homelessness Recording

Drivers of Homelessness event & report launch

On June 22, 2022 local, provincial, and national experts on housing and homelessness discussed the CSPC's new report, Drivers of Homelessness: Findings for Action.

Speakers at the event included

  • Esther de Vos, Executive Director of Research for BC Housing;
  • Erin Dej, Assistant Professor at Wilfred Laurier University and researcher with the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness;
  • Hannah Mang-Wooley, Tenant Legal Advocate at Together Against Poverty Society.

Drivers of Homelessness answers key questions and dissolves persistent myths regarding the ongoing housing and homelessness crisis in Greater Victoria:

  • What are the most important structural and systemic factors that contribute to homelessness?
  • How can we prevent homelessness by addressing these structural and systemic factors?
  • How does early intervention fit into a broader homelessness prevention framework?

This event will include the launch of a SPARC BC funded report that examines the drivers of homelessness in Greater Victoria through the analysis of CSPC’s homelessness prevention program The report will inform evidence-based conversations in the public and the media and support local policymakers in preventing and ending homelessness in our region.

View the full report: Drivers of Homelessness Report

New personal ID service helps people move out of homelessness

The Community Social Planning Council announces a new service for people in need and those supporting them. The Greater Victoria Coordinated ID Services offer assistance applying for ID, coverage of application fees, and safe ID storage. More details are available at communitycouncil.ca/Id-service and in the full release below.

Launch Press Release

Women’s Day 2022 – the gender wage gap in the CRD

Women in the Capital Regional District continue to earn less than men. The gap is larger for visible minority women and women with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds. Women annually earn between 30 and 75 cents for each dollar a white man earns.

Where does this gap come from?

Various intersecting factors feed into these income gaps—wage inequity, gender and culture specific norms, lack of childcare and caregiving responsibilities are just some examples. Women, and particularly visible minority women:

  • Are more likely to be part-time, temporary and contract workers.
  • Are more likely to do lower paying work, and conversely, compensation is traditionally lower for sectors in which the workers are mostly women.
  • Earn less per hour on average for similar work to men.

COVID-19 has widened the gap. The lack of adequate childcare, school aged children at home, and the high impacts on tourism, retail, food and hospitality and other sectors where women and particularly visible minority women were hit hardest.

In response, the Canadian Human Right Commission states:

“If we are to restore momentum in our efforts to bring about gender equality in Canada, social and economic recovery efforts must take a feminist approach. Closing the gender pay gap and improving social services for women in vulnerable circumstances are a must.”

How can we narrow the gaps in the Capital Region?

Conduct pay audits in your organization. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business provides exercises to conduct an internal audit. While it’s specific to the Pay Equity Act in Quebec, the questions can be adapted to other jurisdictions.

Support flexible work requirements. Women are often forced to choose between work, childcare, and other family commitments. A flexible schedule that eases in-office requirements can help.

Publish wage/salary information in job postings. Providing salaries up front keeps unintentional bias from creeping into the hiring process. Publishing a range allows room to negotiate based on education and experience while ensuring candidates have equal starting places.

Write your MLA and encourage them to pass provincial legislation that outline protections, processes, and remedies that require all BC employers to provide equal pay and to make the minimum wage a living wage (See the CSPC’s annual calculation for the living wage).


About the data

Note: Gender earnings gaps were calculated from median annual incomes.

Data Tables: CPP-5a: Aboriginal identity (7), Age groups (6), Sex (3), Income status in 2015 – CPP (7) and Selected labour force, work activity and income characteristics (35) for the population 15 years and over with income in private households, 2016 Census

CPP-5b: Visible minority status (14), Age groups (6), Sex (3), Income status in 2015 – CPP (7) and Selected labour force, work activity and income characteristics (35) for the population 15 years and over with income in private households, 2016 Census

Definitions for various demographic groups are included in the Stats Canada data tables listed.

References

Family Day Fact Sheet: No Family Left Behind 2022

Pandemic, housing crisis, economic pressures — how are different families in Victoria experiencing this challenging moment, and how can we support their overall social, economic, and mental well-being and resilience in the region? The facts presented in this info sheet reveal where challenges continue to present themselves and point us in the direction of solutions.

Download a PDF of the No Family Left Behind Fact Sheet.

 

 

 

The Regional Food System Indicator Framework

The Regional Food System Indicator Framework

For the 2020 Good Food Summit that took place at the beginning of December, the CSPC  developed the Regional Food System Indicator Framework. This framework explains how we track our progress towards building a robust community food strategy and reaching the outcomes and targets of the Good Food 2025 Strategy, a regional collective impact initiative.

 

Download the Framework

For more information on our work developing metrics for a social and sustainable food system, please visit our Food Metrics page.

Family Day 2021 Fact Sheet: No Family Left Behind

Family Day Fact Sheet: No Family Left Behind 

BC Family Day is a day that allows us to be together, celebrate one another and embrace all that is good about those who enrich our lives and to feel connected.

Did you know that 1 in 11 families living in the Greater Victoria Region are living in low-income?  The purpose of this fact sheet is to bring awareness that even though we may all be in the same storm, we are not all in the same boat. As we celebrate this BC Family Day, lets make sure that No Family Gets Left Behind.

Gender Balance in Entrepreneurship – What does that mean?

Gender Balance in Entrepreneurship – What does that mean?

Gender balance in entrepreneurship means moving from ‘hero-preneurship’ to collaboration and away from hierarchy to scaling through adaptation or replication by others.

As we start to re-build into a green, diverse, and inclusive economy, limiting the barriers women and newcomer entrepreneurs face will be essential. Did you know that 15.7% of small and medium enterprises are owned by women, which makes up the bulk of Canada’s companies? Canada has made progress towards narrowing the gender gap but still sits at 19th place for developed economies and fell in 2019 (from 16th place in 2017). Did you also know that when male entrepreneurs make a pitch for funding, they receive funding 68% of the time? The same pitch, made by a woman – same words, same pitch – is only funded 32% of the time.

Our report: Financial Inclusion in the Green Economy (FIGE) sets sights on addressing inequalities between genders by identifying current and future barriers to financial inclusion for women in the green economy. This report was launched in response to local anecdotes from women entrepreneurs struggling to break into the green economy.

As quoted by Mikaila Montgomery in the Times Colonist– co-coordinator of the program:

“Victoria is in some ways a leader in gender equality — but there is always room for improvement. We still hear of stories of women entrepreneurs making a pitch for funding to start a business being declined — and advised to come back with a man.”

This project is just the beginning of the conversation. The council is working on phase 2 of the project and we are always looking to hear from individuals who have been challenged with these barriers. If you would like to get in touch, please reach out to Alisha Evans at communications@communitycouncil.ca

More focus on BC youth transitioning out of care needed

The Community Social Planning Council welcomes the new report from BC’s Representative for Children and Youth that puts a spotlight on youth transitioning out of care. In the 2020 Point in Time Homeless Count for the Capital Region, 1 in 3 of the people experiencing homelessness had been in foster care or government care. This number jumps to 55% for youth aged 16 to 24.

The importance of that transition as youth age out of care is clear – for the individuals we surveyed who had been in care, 30% experienced homelessness within one month of leaving care.  Only 15% of those we surveyed felt that Child Protective Services were helpful with the transitioning to independence after leaving foster care.

Youth experiencing homelessness we surveyed asked for life skills and mental health supports. It is great to see the report focus on these areas, particularly since 70% of the youth we surveyed identified as living with mental health issues and homelessness. There is a dangerous convergence of gaps in the system for youth in care and gaps in our mental health and addictions services. The report outlines initial steps to address this but more is needed in both areas.

The higher risk for Indigenous youth is another key area needing focus as they are disproportionately represented in the foster care system and experience homelessness at higher rates. The report acknowledges the impacts of colonialism and importance of cultural connection but falls short of recommending action. Prevention is key. As the well-known Canadian Indigenous expert, Cindy Blackstock says, poverty underlies many of the health and wellness disparities affecting Indigenous children, youth and families – if it goes unaddressed very little progress will be made in closing the gap.

We applaud the report’s focus on filling the gaps for children aging out of care. However, there needs to be bigger focus on the broader economic disparities that put children and youth at risk: inequality, poverty, economic and job insecurity and lack of adequate, affordable housing. COVID has exposed those fault lines in our society and opened new opportunities to do better.

Poverty underlies many of the health and wellness disparities affecting Indigenous children, youth and families – if it goes unaddressed very little progress will be made in closing the gap in life chances and experience.

 

Diana Gibson, Executive Director of the council was approached by Chek News to provide a comment on the recent published report. Watch the full interview here.