The Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at York University, A Way Home Canada and the Home Depot Canada Foundation announced late last week the results of the first ever National Youth Homelessness Survey in Canada. According to the groundbreaking new survey, youth homelessness can begin as young as age 13, and if not addressed can lead to years on the streets.
“So many youth have their first experience of homelessness in their early teens, and our research shows that once on the streets things really go downhill,” said Stephen Gaetz, director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at York University. “If we don’t address youth homelessness early, we will be dealing with chronic adult homelessness in the future.”
More than 6,000 youth do not have a safe place to sleep every night, making youth homelessness one of the most urgent social issues in Canada. Without A Home – The National Youth Homelessness Survey finds that understanding the causes and conditions of youth homelessness are vital to implementing the right supports to help create successful futures and break the cycle of youth homelessness.
“The findings will lead to more effective plans, strategies and interventions at the national, regional and local levels to prevent and end youth homelessness in Canada,” said Melanie Redman, Executive Director of A Way Home Canada. “From conception, this critical piece of research was a collaborative effort between The Home Depot Canada Foundation, researchers, service providers, and most importantly, youth with lived experience.”
In the past three years, The Home Depot Canada Foundation has helped more than 300 community partners ensure more homeless youth have access to housing that is safe and supportive, established a thought leadership advisory council, worked with youth who have lived experiences, and supported new research to better understand the circumstances and needs of homeless youth in Canada. In recognition of the successes of its original $10 million contribution in 2013, The Home Depot Canada Foundation also announced today it will double its investment. Adding an additional $10 million investment over the next two years toward helping prevent and end youth homelessness, bringing the total to $20 million by 2018.
“We are proud of the work we’ve done and access to this unprecedented data demonstrates how much more we must do,” said Jeff Kinnaird, chair of the board, The Home Depot Canada Foundation and president, The Home Depot Canada. “By focusing our efforts on organizations that provide safe, stable housing, life skills development programs and research initiatives, we can help build brighter futures for homeless and at-risk youth across Canada.”
You can download a copy of the full report here: Without A Home – The National Youth Homelessness Survey