Citizens for Public Justice (CPJ) is a national, progressive organization of members who are inspired by faith to act for social and environmental justice in Canadian public policy.
When COVID-19 triggered orders for social distancing and regular handwashing, we immediately started hearing of the disproportionate risk facing people who had no home to go to, or whose homes are not safe; those with no clean water with which to wash their hands; and those living in crowded housing or institutions. The idea that “we are all in the same storm, but we are not in the same boat” draws attention to how this public health crisis impacts certain people and communities.
A wave of articles from feminist economists, academics, and activists shows that none of this is really surprising. In fact, we have been warned of these risks and pre-existing crises for decades or more. We know that poverty, housing insecurity, and food insecurity are in and of themselves public health crises and that they impact certain groups of people more than others. Unfortunately, our knowledge has not been paired with commensurate action.
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