The Issues

Why are young people homeless?

To understand youth homelessness, it’s important to look at the issues that lead kids to the street.

Youth become homeless for a variety of reasons which include fleeing or being forced out of homes where there is abuse or neglect. Kids may feel unwanted by a new step-parent or because of their sexual orientation. They may have ‘aged out’ of the child welfare system.

Without resources, family support or the skills to live independently, kids can find themselves on the street where they can face exploitation and huge challenges to making their way back.

Youth Homelessness

The problem of youth homelessness has reached crisis proportions in Canada. In Toronto, it is estimated that there are at least 10,000 homeless youth in any given year, and as many as 2,000 on a given night.
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Leaving Child Welfare

Many youth in care move through a series of foster or group homes, continue to be plagued by the trauma of their experiences, have difficulty adjusting to a new family situation or struggle with feeling unwanted.
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When kids on the street are desperate for food or a place to stay, they may resort to “survival” sex for money or what they need. A Toronto study showed 23% of homeless young women and 11% of young men said they’d traded sex for food.
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Youth Employment

Most homeless kids lack enough education, job experience, life skills, and stability to find and maintain employment. In today’s uncertain economy, homeless kids’ struggle for work has become even more daunting.
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Success stories

Crisis Shelter: David

Life with his young, single mom was like walking on eggshells. David had to always be on guard to avoid provoking her temper.
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Facts & Stats

There are 10,000 homeless youth in Toronto each year

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

87% of Canadians don’t know the extent of the problem

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