Understanding media representations of homelessness in Metro Vancouver

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This project examines newsprint media’s coverage of homelessness in Metro Vancouver; specifically, documentation of its causes and solutions. I investigate how the media represented these, compared to causes and solutions proposed in the Regional Homelessness Plan, 3 Ways to Home: Housing, Income, and Support Services. This project includes an assessment of media representations-- causal attributions and proposed solutions/responses-- of homelessness and their potential to affect outcomes in public awareness, policy attention and change. Findings indicated abundant media coverage of individual causes, specific structural responses to homelessness. Coverage focused on municipal governmentinvolvement in causes and solutions/responses to homelessness. Lack of, or low-income leading to homelessness received considerably less coverage than housing affordability, availability, and provision of support services. Recommendations flowing from this research for stakeholders to draw attention to income problems as a key cause of homelessness, and continued awareness efforts on housing, and support services.
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