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About Homelessness

Homelessness – simply defined – is the absence of a place to live. This can be a person who has no regular place to live who stays in an overnight emergency shelter, abandoned building, all-night coffee shop or theatre, a car, outdoors, or other such places not meant to be living spaces.

Statements & Statistics on Homelessness:

• In 2012, a new Canadian Definition of Homelessness was released by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network: “Homelessness describes the situation of an individual or family without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household’s financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination. Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, stressful and distressing.” (CHRN, 2012: 1)

• 235, 000 people experience homelessness in Canada per year – Canadian Observatory on Homelessness and The Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (Gaetz, Richter, & Gulliver, 2014)

• 39 years is the average life expectancy of a person experiencing homelessness in Canada

• The number of Canadians who experience homelessness on any given night in Canada is estimated to be approximately 30,000 individuals. This is the best estimate of homelessness developed in Canada to date, and includes people who are:

    • I. UNSHELTERED (outside in cars, parks, on the street) – 2,880
    • II. STAYING IN EMERGENCY HOMELESSNESS SHELTERS – 14,400
    • III. STAYING IN VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN SHELTERS – 7,350
    • IV. PROVISIONALLY ACCOMMODATED (homeless but in hospitals, prison, or interim housing) – 4,464 – Gaetz, S., Donaldson, J., Richter, T., & Gulliver, T. (2013): The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press. ISBN: 978-1-55014-632-5

“No one has ever become poor by giving”. – Helen Keller

 “Helping people boost themselves out of poverty is the best way to make a lasting positive difference in a person’s life”. – Naveen Jain

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