UNIGNORABLE Issues | Peel, Toronto and York Region

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Poverty

Poverty has been called one of the defining issues of our generation. It robs people of their potential, costs us all too much and undermines what we stand for: a place where everyone has a fair chance at a good life. It’s also changing the very makeup of our communities, creating polarizing divisions between entire neighbourhoods and affecting the social fabric of the places we call home. If we don’t act now, these gaps will continue to grow.

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Homelessness

Homelessness isn’t just about sleeping on the streets. It affects almost every aspect of a person’s life including family wellbeing, employment and physical and mental health. People who are homeless have shorter life expectancies, are more likely to be victims of violence and go hungry at least once a week. The odds can often feel stacked against those who are homeless because of a mix of complex, interrelated issues like mental illness, addiction and abuse. Homelessness is also experienced disproportionately by different populations. For example, Indigenous people make up 1% of Toronto’s overall population but they account for approximately 16% of the city’s overall homeless population.

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Social Isolation

Social isolation can have devastating effects on people, families and entire communities. And yet, 1 in 3 Canadians do not report a strong, or very strong, sense of belonging to their local community. Isolation and loneliness in many communities has reached epidemic proportions, leading to a host of serious consequences ranging from deterioration in mental and physical health. For newcomers, seniors and people living with disabilities, the effects of social isolation can be amplified even further.

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