More people are now living below the poverty line in Canada than at any previous time in our history, even as our society as a whole becomes more affluent. At the same time, the middle class is reclaiming the inner cities, replacing old affordable housing for the poor with upscale real estate. And mentally ill Canadians, traditionally cared for in institutions, have been moved en masse into local communities which have neither planned for the influx nor allocated the resources for dealing with the strain it has put on special housing. The convergence of these economic, social, and health care trends has left thousands homeless.Barbara Murphy’s On the Street examines the circumstances that have led to this situation and explores possible remedies. Her cogent arguments and lucid style make this a must-read for any Canadian who cares about the kind of society we are creating.
News & Reviews
“I recommend this alternative history for readers who are interested in how, over the last hundred years, we have created a situation that finds about 35,000 to 40,000 literally homeless Canadians on the street tonight. Read this history to discover how poor-bashing is a national tradition.” —Canadian Forum
About the Author
Barbara Murphy was born in Winnipeg. She graduated from McGill University and moved to Ottawa, where she worked for the Children’s Aid Society and as director of day care services. While a full-time working mom, she pursued post-graduate studies as a part-time student at Carleton University and obtained an M.A. in Sociology and M.SW. She taught courses in social policy and worked as a social policy consultant. Her books Why Women Bury Men: The Longevity Gap in Canada, The Ugly Canadian: The Rise and Fall of a Caring Society, On the Street: How We Created the Homeless, and Eating the Wedding Gifts: Lean Years After Marriage Break-Up explore issues that affect the social structure of Canadian society. Barbara Murphy died in 2019.