In Saskatchewan, homelessness has become a grave concern and a serious reality for many women and children. Saskatchewan now has the highest rates of homelessness in the country with one in five people saying that they are homeless or at risk of being homeless. In the past 3 years in Saskatchewan the vacancy rate has been dropping with the rate for 2009 being 1.5%. Regina and Saskatoon have vacancy rates below 1%.
Homelessness is compounded by poverty. More than 41% of female-headed lone-parent families in Saskatchewan struggle to provide the basic needs of their families because they live below the poverty line. Saskatchewan has the third highest child poverty rate in Canada.
With sky-rocketing home ownership costs and a constantly decreasing availability of safe and affordable housing, the women and children of Saskatchewan who are attempting to exit abusive situations are faced with incredible challenges. If women cannot find adequate and affordable housing their chances of succeeding in leading lives free from violence are diminished.
While the causes and consequences of violence against women exist beyond housing, there is no question that without an adequate, suitable and affordable home to which one can escape, women are choosing to stay in violent relationships or return to abusive partners because they feel they have no other option.
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