About the CFMSThe CFMS is an organization representing over 8,000 medical students from 15 Canadian medical student societies from coast to coast. We represent medical students to the public, to the federal government, and to national and international medical organizations.
OTTAWA, ON – In these unprecedented times, the Canadian Federation of Medical Students (CFMS) National Day of Action will be proceeding, but for the first time in a fully virtual and physically distanced format to discuss the housing and homelessness crisis in Canada. Historically, medical students have met in Ottawa, Ontario to meet with Members of Parliament on Parliament Hill. This year all training sessions and meetings will be conducted via virtual format, to do our part in preventing the spread of COVID-19 while effectively advocating for communities across Canada. The CFMS National Day of Action advocacy training weekend will occur on February 27th and 28th, with meetings occurring on Monday March 1st.
Over 235 000 Canadians experience homelessness every year, and 35 000 Canadians experience homelessness on any given night1. Marginalized sub-populations such as LGBTQIA2S+ youth, those with mental illness, and those who live with substance use disorders are often disproportionately affected2. The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness advocates for a Housing First Model, arguing that the only way for people to escape homelessness and break the cycle of poverty is to first provide them with stable housing3.
There is an inverse relationship between homelessness and health. Those who are homeless have less access to primary care and emergency services, which further perpetuates health inequities. While the National Housing Strategy has been adopted in Canada4, it is clear that work has stalled at a time when it should be accelerating. COVID-19 is a crisis on top of other crises, and we cannot let managing the pandemic eclipse the need for supporting those who are at greatest risk and made structurally vulnerable. We must hold our government accountable for the promises laid out in the National Housing Strategy Act and support organizations and individuals doing the good work to call our government to action on this important issue.
More information on how to get involved to come!
#HousingIsHealth #HousingForAll #CFMSDayOfAction2021
1. Infographic: Homelessness in Canada by Numbers. 2014. https://www.homelesshub.ca/blog/infographic-homelessness-canada-numbers
2. The State of Homelessness in Canada. 2016 https://www.homelesshub.ca/SOHC2016
3. A New Direction: A Framework for Homelessness Prevention. 2017 https://www.homelesshub.ca/sites/default/files/attachments/COHPreventionFramework_1.pdf
4. A Place to Call Home. 2017. https://www.placetocallhome.ca/
For questions or for more information:
Sehjal Bhargava, CFMS Director of Government Affairs, ([email protected]), Jessica Froehlich, CFMS National Officer of Political Advocacy ([email protected]), Vivian Tan, CFMS Vice-President of Communications, ([email protected])