Monday, December 10, 2018
   
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National Housing Day: November 22

In 1998, the homeless advocacy group, Toronto Disaster Relief Committee, declared that homelessness was a national disaster. The State of Emergency Declaration was formally released in October 1998. This raised immediate support from individuals, community agencies, faith groups, labour unions and similar such voices.

The campaign advocated what they called The 1% Solution: That all levels of government invest additional funds amounting to 1% of their budget to building social housing.

Beginning on November 22, 2000, National Housing Strategy Day was recognized. Events such as awareness-raising about inadequate housing and homelessness have been continuing to this year. Housing is a basic human right recognized by the United Nations and all levels of government in Canada. One cannot help but ask, how can we continue to tolerate this neglect of a basic human right? 

To add to this shameful situation: In a country such as Canada with all its wealth of natural resources, parts of our country have recently faced loss or destruction of homes due to severe weather-related events connected to climate change.

We read in Scripture of Jesus telling us “to abide in my love.” Today, we are the agents of that love. We need to work and pray for those who are homeless and/or precariously housed.

Let us Pray

Dear God, you were homeless at your birth on that first Christmas. But you made your home with us on Earth and continue to dwell among us creating each and all of us with divine dignity. 

Bless each of us with your mercy and guide us to find ways to work towards an end to homelessness so that November 22 will become a day to be thankful for the elimination of homelessness as a “national disaster” in Canada and everywhere. 

Amen.  

By Sister Theresa Rodgers

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