Definitions of Homelessness
These definitions of homelessness describe the range of accommodation people without appropriate, stable and permanent housing may experience. Individuals without acceptable housing experience a range of different types of homelessness, from being unsheltered to having housing that is insecure or inappropriate. Homelessness is not one single event or state of being, so it is important to recognize that at different points in time people may find themselves experiencing different types of homelessness.
Functional zero is a concrete, and measurable approach to ending homelessness. When a community has reached functional zero, it means homelessness is managed by an adequate amount of services and resources. Simply put, it means that there are enough, or even more homeless-serving services and resources than needed to meet the needs of individuals who are experiencing homelessness, or are transitioning out of homelessness.
This definition and approach to ending homelessness gives communities the autonomy to reflect on what ending homelessness would and should look like, in consideration of the amount of people experiencing homelessness in it’s varying forms, the amount of supports currently available, and the supports needed to fill those gaps.
If you require urgent emotional support, including having thoughts of suicide and other mental health issues, please call Vancouver Island Crisis Line: 1-888-494-3888.
Youth (under 25 years of age) may access youthspace.ca for online emotional support.
For other resources, including shelter availability, visit bc211.ca