• Subject Name : Nursing

Complex Needs in Homelessness Practice

Introduction to Ontario Community Assessment

Community assessment is an important method that is utilized to evaluate and understand different aspect of the community to identify the health issue or priority that need to be addressed to improve community-level health status. It helps to identify the different community aspect that contributes to the prevalence of prognosis of the health issue (Basseej et al., 2017). A windshield survey is considered to be the systemic way of monitoring the community and its different aspect that help to identify the need or issue related to the community. The survey evaluates a different aspect of the community in the border perceptive that help to evaluate the actual status of the community to assist (Kusimo, 2019). The report is going to conduct the windshield survey for the Oshawa community to identify different characteristics that will help to improve the identification of the one health concern that needs to be addressed to improve the health. The issue that will be discussed in the report is going to be the homelessness in the Oshawa community that need to be addressed.


Homelessness is the issue that has been increasing complication for the population that is affected by the wide range of the aspect. The homelessness refers to the absence of a stable and permanent shelter or inappropriate shelter that increasingly difficult for the population (Scott et al., 2018). Homelessness is one of the major four goals of the housing plan survey conducted in the Durham due to the major population is facing due to the unstable housing facility. The homelessness increases the insecurity for the individual facing multiple changes in the location and it occurs due to the inequality in the resources distribution due to the speed up globalization. The stable and permanent house comes under the basic need of the population thus it should be prioritized in addressing the issue of the population. The population in the Oshawa community face the major issue that they have to be on street due to the lack of housing that needs to be considered to address as it can increase many complications for the individual (Scott et al., 2018).

Moreover, the article presented by Scott et al. (2014) discussed that homelessness is one of the major concern of the rural and urban area connected to Canada. The statistics reveal that around 250,000 Canadians are homeless every year that directly increase the burden of the issue. The urban area of Canada depicts the homelessness when compared to the rural area but it is one of the major social issues that need to be addressed to decrease the risk for the population. The study presented by Frederick (2019) discussed that 20% of the population out of the total homeless belong to the 16-25 age group. The increasing prevalence of the youth homelessness leads to the establishment of negative behavioural aspect which deteriorated safety in the community. There are different social and cultural that affect the prevalence of homelessness which includes subculture and street life, space and locality. The vulnerable population is majorly associated with the homelessness and they have increased risk to acquire a negative impact of the issue.


The community report presented by Homeless Hub (2010) there is a different health issue that is faced by the homelessness which directly leads to the deteriorated physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. The statistic associated with the homelessness in Canada that includes in a given night one of the people sleeping in the shelter and 23 people are facing housing vulnerability. The population having no healthy place for living face average lifespan of about shorter of 7-10 years. A physical health issue that is associated with the homelessness includes chronic health condition like Hepatitis B and C, asthma, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ulcers, epilepsy and HIV. Some fo the mental health issue that increases complication for the population facing homelessness includes traumatic brain injury, depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Another community report present by the Durham Mental Health Services (2018) there is an increased to understand the actual statistic that is linked with the homelessness and to identify the different issue faced by the homeless population to improve the perspective of the intervention. The survey conducted reveals that among the total population 3% of the population were unsheltered, 38% are staying emergency shelter and 16% of the population staying normal shelter. Homelessness is directly associated with an increased risk for the different physical and mental complication that lead to deteriorated health. The statistic reveals that 58% of the population face mental illness, 34% faces acute or chronic medical condition and 31% face substance abuse.

Charity Intelligence researches (2009) discusses that 157,000 people are and in under poverty line that increases the risk of the homelessness. There are different types of the homelessness individual and they are divided according to the type of shelter. The different health complications that are associated with the homelessness in the population include mental health issue that directly increases the individual complication. The addiction is another complication that is associated with the homelessness includes addiction like substance abuse which leads to a poor health outcome.

Specific Supports Provided in The Community

Different interventions can be utilized to improve the physical as well as mental wellbeing of the homeless population. The supports that can help the homelessness population to improve their health by addressing the issue include Community support critical time intervention that helps to improve the physical deteriorated health of the patient. Another aspect that can help to support the homelessness population includes psychosocial rehabilitation that helps to address the mental as well as emotional wellbeing of the homelessness population (Frederick, 2019). Another article presented by Dobson (2019) discussed that homelessness of the population increases the vulnerability of the population to acquire different health-related complication. The supports that are provided to the homeless population utilize the person-centred approach to addressing the specific need of the population.

Role of the CHN

Nurses are the major caregivers during the patient care thus they play a major role in helping the homeless population to improve their physical and mental wellbeing (Goeman et al., 2019).. Nurses are expected to use the therapeutic communication in the client care to improve the rapport with the patient which helps to increase the patient participation care. The population faced homelessness episodes have increased vulnerability for the physical, emotional and mental distress that need to be addressed by the holistic care. Nurses are expected to collaborate with the interdisciplinary team to improve the care process of the patient (Goeman et al., 2019). The first Standard proposed by the Canadian Community Health Nursing (2019) state that nurse should indulge in the health promotion process to empower the population. Community health nurses are expected to collaborate with the patient and family to improve the care process. Nurses are expected to identify the health issue associated with the community that need to be addressed to improve the health status.

Conclusion on Ontario Community Assessment

The report can be concluded by adding that there has been a great burden of the homelessness in the Oshawa and it has directly deteriorated the health status of the community. The Windshield Survey conducted in the Oshawa community has improved the understanding regarding the different aspect of the community which helped to understand the community. The statistics of the homelessness in the Oshawa population is affected by the different aspect like locality, surrounding, street life and space. The homelessness of the population has directly decreased the physical, mental and emotional wellbeing which lead to the increased risk for the chronic health condition. The statistics reveal that the population facing homelessness experienced major mental and physical complication due to the stressors created by the lack of shelter. The specific supports that are planned for the homelessness population are designed to address the physical deteriorated health and mental health complication. The standard 1 is useful to address the health care need of the homeless population that help to empower the patient.

References for Ontario Community Assessment

Basseej, M. H., Holakouie-Naieni, K., Ardalan, A. & Ahmadnezhad, E. (2015). Community assessment for determining the health priority problems and community diagnosis: A case study of qala_sayed village, kazeroun, Fars province, Iran. Iranian Journal of Public Health44(9), 1303–1305.

Canadian Community Health Nursing. (2019). Professional Practice Model & Standards of Practice. Retrieved from: https://www.chnc.ca/en/standards-of-practice

Charity Intelligence researches. (2018). A Funder’s Primer in Understanding the Tragedy on Canada’s Streets. Retrieved from: https://www.charityintelligence.ca/component/charities/?layout=noresults

Dobson, R. (2019). Complex needs in homelessness practice: A review of new markets of vulnerability. Housing Studies, 1–27. DOI:10.1080/02673037.2018.1556784 

Durham Mental Health Services. (2017). Measuring the scope and nature of homelessness in Durham. Retrieved from: https://dmhs.ca/news/2017-durham-pit-count-report-released-measuring-scope-nature-homelessness-durham/

Frederick, T. (2019). Conceptualizing the social and cultural organization of street life among young people experiencing homelessness. Journal of Youth Studies, 1–17. DOI:10.1080/13676261.2019.1569214 

Frederick, T. (2019). Conceptualizing the social and cultural organization of street life among young people experiencing homelessness. Journal of Youth Studies, 1–17. DOI:10.1080/13676261.2019.1569214 

Goeman, D., Howard, J. & Ogrin, R. (2019). Implementation and refinement of a community health nurse model of support for people experiencing homelessness in Australia: A collaborative approach. BMJ Open9(11), 1-17. DOI: 10.1136/bmjopen-2019-030982

Homeless hub. (2010). Housing vulnerability and health: Canada’s hidden emergency. Retrieved from: https://www.homelesshub.ca/sites/default/files/attachments/HousingVulnerabilityHealth-REACH3-Nov2010_0.pdf

Kusimo, O.C. (2019). Findings from a windshield survey conducted in an internally displaced community in Nigeria. Health, 11, 50-56. DOI: 10.4236/health.2019.111006

Scott, H., Alvi, S. & Stanyon, W. (2014). Durham Region Homelessness Initiative: Literature review, 1-26.

Scott, H., Bryant, T and Aquanno, S. (2018). Out of homelessness: vulnerability of unattached individuals in Durham region. 1-116.

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