Federal National Housing Strategy: A step in fighting homelessness

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2017 – The Government of Canada’s announcement of a new National Housing Strategy recognizes the distinct housing barriers faced by vulnerable populations and may prevent youth from getting caught in the cycle of homelessness.

“We agree with the Prime Minister’s statement that housing rights are human rights,” said Covenant House Toronto Executive Director Bruce Rivers. “This strategy is a first step towards a housing solution for many Canadians, including some of our youth, but much more needs to be done. We await the launch of the redesigned federal homelessness program in April 2019.”

Covenant House serves up to 250 youth every day who are homeless or marginally housed. As many as 7,000 youth in Canada are without a home on any given night.
Rivers urges all levels of government to quickly implement the proposed changes so more youth have the opportunity to move forward. “Stability for a homeless youth is impossible without a fixed address. Youth cannot invest in finding employment, furthering their education, maintaining a healthy lifestyle or engaging with society when they are seeking a safe place to sleep every night.”

The government announced that it is seeking counsel on implementation from several stakeholders. Rivers said the agency is prepared to advise the government on addressing any issues concerning homeless and at-risk youth. Homeless youth face particular barriers to securing long-term housing; they require unique support in order to successfully transition to full independence.

Covenant House provides the widest range of services under one roof to at-risk, homeless and trafficked youth. More than a place to stay, the agency offers 24/7 crisis shelter and on and off-site longer-term residential programs along with comprehensive services including education, counselling, health care, employment assistance and job training.

For more, contact:

Tracie LeBlanc
Associate Director of Communications
Covenant House Toronto
416-204-7081
tleblanc@covenanthouse.ca

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Facts & Stats

There are 10,000 homeless youth in Toronto each year

Homeless youth are forty times more likely to die than other youth

70% of homeless youth are fleeing homes with abuse and neglect

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