Social Determinants of Health and Stories of Homelessness in Fort Mcmurray, Canada

International Journal of Case Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, March 2015

9 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2016

See all articles by Solina Richter

Solina Richter

University of Alberta - Faculty of Nursing

Pushpanjali Dashora

University of Alberta - Department of Human Ecology

Kimberly Jarvis

University of Alberta - Faculty of Nursing

Date Written: March 2015

Abstract

Little research has been conducted to investigate the needs and challenges of homeless individuals living in FM. In this paper, the social determinant of health that exacerbated homelessness in Fort McMurray, Canada, were highlighted. The study implemented a participatory action research design. In-depth open-ended life history interviews were conducted individually with 15 participant which were experiencing homelessness at the time of the study. Common threads were identified across shared experiences embedded within the broad social, cultural, and institutional macro system. These adults face difficult daily challenges including finding adequate and affordable housing and food, securing a safe place to sleep, overcoming addictions and consequently avoiding the rampant availability of drugs and alcohol. Many of FM’s homeless also deal with job loss, physical and mental health problems, dangerous environments, and traumatic histories of hardship. Many have been exposed to histories of addictions and depression. The homeless population of FM experiences multiple barriers to survival, including a limited number of available shelter beds, restrictive shelter rules, and high rental-housing costs. The unique economic situation in FM impacts homeless people as a result of the extremely high cost of living, and job turnover fuelled by pull factors associated with the oil industry. Addressing homelessness in FM will need a multisectoral, multidisciplinary approach, and political commitment to attend to the SDOH that are exacerbating the problem. This can only be achieved by the full participation of all the different sectors involved and the people affected, the homeless.

Keywords: Homelessness, Social Determinants of Health, Fort McMurray

Suggested Citation

Richter, Solina and Dashora, Pushpanjali and Jarvis, Kimberly, Social Determinants of Health and Stories of Homelessness in Fort Mcmurray, Canada (March 2015). International Journal of Case Studies, Volume 4, Issue 3, March 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2885644

Solina Richter (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Faculty of Nursing ( email )

Canada

Pushpanjali Dashora

University of Alberta - Department of Human Ecology ( email )

302 Human Ecology Building
Edmonton , Alberta, T6G 2R3
Canada

Kimberly Jarvis

University of Alberta - Faculty of Nursing ( email )

Canada

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