In Numbers

35,000-40,000

Estimated number of young people who experience homelessness in Canada every year (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

20%

Approximate percentage of Canada’s homeless population between age 13 and 24. (S. Gaetz, T. Gulliver, and T. Richter. 2014. The State of Homelessness in Canada: 2014. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.)

2,000

Estimated number of homeless youth in Toronto every night. (B. O’Grady and S. Gaetz. 2002. Making money: exploring the economy of young homeless workers. Work, Employment, and Society, 16[3], 433-456.)

39

Average life expectancy for a person experiencing homelessness in Canada. (B. Trypuc, and J. Robinson. 2009. Homeless in Canada: A funder’s primer in understanding the tragedy on Canada’s streets. King City: Charity Intelligence Canada.)

77.5%

Percentage of youth who indicated that a key reason they left home was an inability to get along with parents. Young people also identified that abusive relationships within the household were a significant cause of their homelessness, as were mental health and addiction problems among their parents. (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

63.1%

Percentage of homeless youth who identified physical, sexual, or other forms of abuse as contributing to their homelessness. (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

Nearly 1 in 5

Number of homeless youth in US/Canada study that were identified as experiencing some form of human trafficking. (Loyola University New Orleans. 2016. Labor and Sex Trafficking Among Homeless Youth: A Ten-City Study Executive Summary. New Orleans: Loyola University New Orleans.)

57.8%

Percentage of homeless youth who indicated some kind of involvement with child protection services. 38% of those who “aged out” of care suggested a link between that event and their subsequent homelessness. (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

29.5%

Percentage of homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ2S (lesbian, gay, bisexual, Transgender, two-spirit, queer). (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

30.6%

Percentage of youth in shelters who identify as Indigenous. (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

28.2%

Percentage of youth in shelters who identify as members of racialized communities (non-Indigenous). (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

85.4%

Percentage of homeless youth who fall into the “high symptom/distress” category for mental health. 42% reported at least one suicide attempt. (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

59.6%

Percentage of homeless and street-involved youth reporting violent victimization. They are 6 times more likely to be victimized than the general population. (S. Gaetz, B. O’Grady, S. Kidd, and Kaitlin Schwan. 2016. Without a Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness; A Way Home Canada; National Learning Community on Youth Homelessness.)

$4.5 to 6 billion

Annual cost of homelessness in Canada. This figure “makes a strong case for shifting our focus from an emergency response … to prevention and rehousing.” (S. Gaetz. 2012. The Real Cost of Homelessness: Can We Save Money by Doing the Right Thing? Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.)

More Facts

The longer youth are homeless, the more they are exposed to the risks of sexual and economic exploitation and the more likely they are to experience trauma, declining health, nutritional vulnerability, and addictions. (J.F. Boivin, E. Roy, N. Haley, and G. Galbaud du Fort. 2005. The health of street youth: A Canadian perspective. Canadian Journal of Public Health, 96[6], 432-437.)

Toronto is the second most expensive of 33 communities across Canada in which to buy a home. An annual income of $87,407 was needed to afford the average home in Toronto, which cost $641,617. (Housing. 2016. Toronto’s Vitals Signs Report 2016. Toronto Foundation.)

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