Dear Friends in Christ,
November 22 marks National Housing Day in Canada, an occasion for all of us across these lands to reflect on the right of our neighbours to safe, affordable housing and to work to end homelessness in all our communities. We invite you into a time of prayer, learning, and action on November 22 to make real the Gospel call for justice for all people.
The statistics on homelessness and housing need in Canada are staggering. Approximately 235,000 people experience homelessness in Canada every year, with between 25,000 and 35,000 individuals experiencing homelessness on any given day. The rising cost of living has increased the number of people in danger of becoming homeless and made housing even more unaffordable for those who were already struggling. Precarious housing and homelessness contribute to food insecurity, increased stress, and poor health.
As Christians, we are called to ensure that all people are afforded a life of dignity. Anglicans and Lutherans across these lands already provide a variety of front-line services and resources to communities experiencing homelessness or precarious housing, and yet there is still more we must do. This National Housing Day, we encourage you to learn more about the realities of housing need in your communities, to pray for shelter for all, and to call on all levels of government to work together to identify solutions to our national housing crisis.
Ending homelessness and securing a future where every person in Canada has access to safe, affordable, and appropriate housing is possible, but only if we work together with others engaged on these issues.
We commend this prayer to your use on National Housing Day and throughout the year:
You have provided all that we need to care for one another. Help us to recognize our responsibility to all our neighbours and to work toward an end to homelessness and housing need in our communities. Empower us to walk together with those experiencing poverty, homelessness, and housing insecurity toward creative solutions in these difficult times. Embolden us to make our faith tangible by calling for justice and dignity for all your children.
Through your son, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Yours in Christ,
The Most Reverend Linda Nicholls
Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church of Canada
Rev. Susan C. Johnson
National Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada