After serving as an Employment Counselor to At Risk Youth in the city of Toronto, it became more vivid that housing is the primary need of the Homeless. It is inhumane to expect that young people should get their lifes together while dealing with the nightmare of not having a home.
The stories behind their homelessness gave evidence to the fact that many of them were not homeless by a choice of their own. Most were victims of traumatic experiences, some mental health issues, others aged out of the foster care system. These are among some of the reasons why young people are homeless.
Studies indicate that 63.1% of homeless youth identified physical, sexual, or other forms of abuse as contributing to their homelessness and 57.8% 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.)