Piya sheds light on some of the ways homelessness can be hidden, with people who've experienced it themselves
Nearly one in 10 Canadians have reported experiencing "hidden homelessness", when you temporarily have nowhere to stay, so you resort to things like couch surfing and sleeping in your car. This week, Piya sheds light on some of the different ways homelessness can be hidden, with people who've experienced it themselves.
Here are the stories from this week's episode:
Grace Richards resides in Conklin, Alberta, a largely Métis community about an hour and a half south of Fort McMurray. She's currently living in a trailer on someone else's land, leaving her at risk of being asked to leave any day. Grace speaks with Piya about her area's housing crisis, how rural homelessness looks different than in urban areas, and why she thinks we need to re-frame homelessness among Indigenous people.
Shirley Berry and her husband used live in a luxurious Toronto condo, dined out often, and had two cars and a sailboat to their names. But after they made some poor financial decisions and illness struck her husband, Shirley found herself sleeping on a sofa bed in her son's bachelor apartment and in rooming houses. She tells Piya how homelessness was hidden even to herself, and how the experience changed her view of people without secure housing.
Megan McConkey considers herself lucky. Today, she lives in subsidized housing, with her two kids in Burnaby, British Columbia. But for part of last year, she didn't have a stable place of her own. Megan tells Piya about the unique challenges of navigating hidden homelessness as a family, and how she strung together different housing opportunities to make things work.
As a teenager, Share Ryan says her parents deprived her of an education, and she suffered abuse by her father. So at 17, she left home and ended up living on the streets of Ottawa. But she continued to go to high school, graduating with honours, and eventually went on to university. Share tells Piya how she managed to thrive while homeless, and why she kept that part of her past hidden from others for a long time -- including her own husband.