Episode 21 of REAL TIME – Approaching Homelessness from a Place of Empathy

On Episode 21 of REAL TIME, our guest, Dr. Naheed Dosani, brings a different perspective on the importance of safe and secure housing opportunities in Canada. As a physician who cares for people experiencing homelessness, Dr. Dosani sees firsthand the inequities facing marginalized Canadians. But he also sees a way forward.

“A lot of Canadians don’t realize that homelessness is a human-made problem. It was created by humans, and it can be ended through policy choices like ‘housing first’ or ‘housing for all.’”

During the first year of his family medicine residency, Dr. Dosani experienced a devastating and life-changing event: one of his patients, Terry, who had terminal cancer, was living on the streets, and was repeatedly refused access to palliative care, passed away. Deeply affected by the loss of his patient, Dr. Dosani realized while we all have equal access to healthcare in Canada, it doesn’t mean we have equitable access. And so, he pledged to inspire change.

“Housing is a human right,” said Dr. Dosani on the issue, “It’s frustrating. It’s sad. It’s heavy at times. But on the flip side, what drives me is that, in just a short amount of time – just a few years – a few people who care in healthcare and social services have come together to develop a model of care that inspires change.”

To complement REALTORS Care® Week 2021, we talked to Dr. Dosani to gain a front-line perspective of the inequities facing homeless, poor, and vulnerably-housed Canadians. We look at housing as a healthcare issue, how we can cure it through policy, and how we can tap into our own vulnerability to ensure no one has to fall through the cracks.

Dr. Dosani also discussed the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on people experiencing homelessness, and why housing is a healthcare issue.

Listen to Episode 21 of REAL TIME to hear more from Dr. Dosani about the ways Canadians can shift their thinking when it comes to housing and homelessness in our own communities, and what leaders in their field are doing to make an impact.

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