Homelessness isn’t just what we see on the streets

It takes many forms and affects many different people. On any given night in Canada, 35,000 people experience a form of homelessness. For many, the climbing expenses of rent, food and other bills force difficult decisions that often lead to homelessness. Between March 1 and April 30, 2018, the second national Point-in-Time (PiT) Count of homelessness was conducted by communities across Canada. This count provides vital information about individuals experiencing homelessness, helping to identify their needs and develop effective strategies to respond appropriately in each community. When homelessness is not addressed, governments end up spending more money on health care, emergency services and law enforcement.

Fast Facts

  • 1.5 million Canadians are paying more than they can afford for housing.
  • 65% of all homeless people in Canada are men.
  • 21% of those in youth shelters identify as part of the LGBTQ2S community.
  • $2.1 billion will be invested in the National Housing Strategy from 2018/2019 to 2027/2028.

Homelessness and employment

It’s a common misconception that homeless people don’t have jobs or sources of income. A 2013 report by Citizens for Public Justice found that in 44% of poor households there is at least one working person. For many, a steady paycheck just isn’t enough to keep up with the climbing expenses of rent, food and bills.

Living in shelters or temporary housing adds an extra barrier to employment. Beyond the stigma of homelessness, applying for a job without a fixed address, rental history, reliable phone number or access to childcare adds an extra hurdle to an already difficult process.

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