Women’s homelessness, like everything else that has been impacted by COVID-19, is different this year. This year, homeless women’s realities have worsened.
Limited access to family
The Niagara Region is seeing a spike in COVID-19 cases in late December. As the region sits in the Red Zone, Niagara residents are advised to limit their indoor contact with others. For many, this means the holiday season looks a lot different; for women and families experiencing homelessness, it means limited access to their support system. A province-wide lockdown (in preparation for the spike in cases due to the holidays) is around the corner, only worsening the realities of those who are already struggling.
This could also lead to the worsening of other issues such as mental health issues. Being unable to connect with the people they love could push those experiencing homelessness to feel loneliness and despair.
Precarious and scarce work
For families already struggling in poverty, the holidays are always an uphill battle. Creating Christmas magic seems impossible when a shoestring budget is barely enough to cover living expenses. Now, many of these families, particularly women-led families, are struggling to survive among lay-offs and limited seasonal work. Women who were able to find seasonal work in retail during the holidays in the previous year are experiencing, first hand, the impact of the pandemic.
The reality is that the holidays look nothing like our previous celebration leaving many of us feeling disappointed and lonely. All of this is elevated for women and families at the YW navigating homelessness during the holidays. At the YW, we rely on our community to help us navigate such challenging times. We are grateful for the support from local businesses and organizations that have identified the need in the homelessness sector in Niagara and taken action to help those struggling most.
As we prepare for a month-long lockdown following Christmas, we ask our community to do what they can to help the women and families struggling in isolation during the challenging weeks ahead. If you have the means, please consider giving: https://secure.e2rm.com/registrant/donate.aspx?eventid=121795&langpref=en-CA&Referrer=https%3a%2f%2fadmin.e2rm.com%2fEventUserInterface.aspx