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, neglect or childhood trauma. Kids may feel unwanted by a new step-parent or because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. 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 other dangers. The longer youth remain homeless, the more barriers they face to escape street life and build a future.

Youth Homelessness

Youth homelessness is a seemingly intractable problem in Canada, but the plight of street kids remains largely misunderstood. Over the course of the year, there are up to 40,000 youth who spend some time without a home in Canada.
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Leaving Child Welfare

Children may be taken into the child welfare system for their protection from abuse or neglect. Kids who were orphaned or abandoned may also be taken into care. Some 60 percent of homeless youth reported being involved with child welfare.
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Sex Trafficking

Sex trafficking is a growing issue. Homeless youth are among the most vulnerable to exploitation, however unsuspecting girls are also ensnared online, in malls and in school yards. The majority of victims are young, Canadian girls.
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Youth Employment

Most homeless youth lack enough education, job experience, life skills, and stability to find and maintain employment. Without a phone, permanent address, appropriate clothes or resumes, job hunting can prove frustrating and futile.
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Success stories

Living up to his promise

Malcolm spent a grueling three months on the street, sleeping in Internet cafes and 24-hour restaurants.
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