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Study suggests applying Indigenous cultural lens to Winnipeg homeless programs

File / Global News

A report on the health status, housing, and social service needs of Winnipeg’s homeless population was launched Wednesday as part of a 10-year plan to end homelessness in the city.

The 2018 Winnipeg Street Health Survey Report is based on interviews with 406 homeless Winnipeggers between July and October of 2018.

Among the report’s recommendations was the application of an Indigenous cultural lens to programs and policies that help people experiencing homelessness.

According to the survey, Winnipeg’s homeless population is over 70 per cent Indigenous – nearly half of whom have spent time in the care of Child and Family Services.

A further two-thirds self-reported a mental health diagnosis.

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The study builds on similar work, such as the previous Street Health Survey (2011), and the Winnipeg Street Census reports from 2015 and 2018.

“It’s time for change,” said End Homelessness Winnipeg’s CEO, Lucille Bruce.

“Collectively, as a community working toward a common agenda, we can create meaningful transformation to our system of care for those experiencing or at risk of homelessness.”

The report recommends targeting the root causes of homelessness, as well as tailoring support to the individual needs of those experiencing homeless.

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