Curb Homelessness22 January, 2016
Homelessness is increasingly afflicting tens of thousands of Canadians across the country.
The Canadian government has estimated that in any given year, there are at least 150,000 people who use homeless shelters in Canada. The National Shelter Study reveals that among those aged 16 and over, more than 70% are male. And among youth, males comprise approximately 60% of all those in shelter. Evidence also suggests that LGBTQ and Indigenous youth are overrepresented among the homeless.
St. John’s-based organization Choice for Youth reports that 82% of the youth it services have dropped out of school, 75% are suffering from mental health issues, 74% are affected by addictions issues and 75% have past involvement with the criminal justice system. The organization emphasizes that homeless youth “are living independently of parents and/or caregivers and importantly, lack many of the social supports deemed necessary for the transition from childhood to adulthood…. They do not have a stable or consistent residence or source of income, nor do they necessarily have adequate access to the support networks necessary to foster a safe and nurturing transition into the responsibilities of adulthood.”
The Michaëlle Jean Foundation recognizes the urgent need to reduce the incidence of youth homelessness across the nation. To that end, we are proud to partner with The Rooms, Choices for Youth, and Thrive, for an exciting four-year project that will empower street-involved and homeless youth to work with their communities to curb the incidence of homelessness in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador. A high profile arts exhibition, created by young people, will serve as a catalyst to pursue a conversation around ways to engage the government and the private sector in a province-wide strategy to tackle youth homelessness. Support this project.