The Rise in Youth Homelessness in Canada Essay

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Today in Canada, a rise in youth homelessness is being observed across the country. Despite common assumptions, the issue of street youth is not isolated to Toronto or Montreal, but has become pervasive across the country. Although accurate statistics are impossible to come by, the disturbing reality is that both urban centers and rural communities nationwide, are struggling to provide their youth with adequate, affordable housing. Issues surrounding the supply and affordability of housing, combined with personal circumstances characterized by instability, are distancing youth’s access to housing. These causes and their overall consequences, must be faced before lasting solutions can be shaped by society. Housing Canada’s street youth will …show more content…
Many of these youth have been raised in foster homes and other environments lacking the social, and often economic stability, necessary for seamless transitions into society and the workforce. Over 15% of homeless youth reported their families as having suffered from homelessness at some point. Physical and sexual abuse is often extremely prevalent among street youth. A study conducted in Toronto indicated that more than 70% of homeless youth had left home due to physical or sexual abuse. Finally, homeless youth tend to be characterized by their lack of resources and job readiness. In 2003, over 35% of Canadian street youth reported that they had dropped out of high school, or had been permanently expelled. These social causes only serve to perpetuate homelessness from the economic side.

According to former NDP leader Jack Layton (Layton 2008: xix), the economic causes of youth homelessness can be summarized by stating that homelessness is an issue of both supply and affordability . Looking specifically at Atlantic Canada, affordable housing is a primary concern for those tacking homelessness. According to Layton, “In New Brunswick, where poverty is an issue, few new subsidized housing units have been built in the last 10 years, and there is no supportive housing. The poor condition of the existing housing stock contributes to youth

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