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THE PROBLEM

YOUTH HOMELESSNESS IN CANADA IS A REALITY

20% of Canada's homeless population consists of young people between the agesof 13 to 24, and up to 6,000 young people experience homelessness every night.

Most of Canada's young homeless population gravitate to big cities, but homelessness also occurs in other communities - it's just less visible, and the problem starts early. 40% of homeless youth first experience homelessness before the age of 16. 

Youth homelessness in Canada has reached crisis proportions. About 6,000 young people are experiencing homelessness in our country on any given night.

Trafficking can happen to anyone

Sex trafficking is a growing crime in Canada. It is often under-reported, under-estimated and largely misunderstood.

Essentially, sex trafficking is exploiting someone through force, fraud or coercion for another person's financial gain. As a multi-billion-dollar industry, it is more lucrative than guns or drugs - traffickers can make over $280,000 per year by controlling one victim. This crime is affecting the lives of countless young women and girls in Canada. 

The average age of victims is 17, but they can be as young as 13, and as young as 8 for indigenous girls. Over 30% of female youth who stay at Covenant House have been involved in some form of the sex industry, including trading sex for food.

 


MANY YOUTH EXPERIENCING HOMELESSNESS FACE OTHER BARRIERS

Youth facing homelessness often face discrimination in addition to other trauma. 

30%

31%

28%

>50%

>58%

of youth who are homeless identify as LGBTQ2S+ identify as indigenous identify as members of racialized communities of homeless youth indicate that abuse at home contributed to homelessness of homeless youth reported involvement with child welfare in the past

Covenant House provides a safe space for youth who are homeless, trafficked or at risk.

Over the last decade, we have seen a shift. More young people are staying with us for longer periods of time. This is because the youth we serve are facing more complex challenges. In addition to abuse, neglect and family breakdown, more youth struggle with mental health, finding affordable housing and getting stable, meaningful jobs. 

Homelessness and trafficking can happen to anyone. However young people who face additional barriers because of disability, sexuality or racial identity are often over-represented. And 59% of youth at Covenant House are from average and upper-income households. For them, the street appeared a safter option than staying at home.

These are some of the most vulnerable and some of the most resilient. With the right opportunities, they can build a better future. 

6000-7000

85%

42%

>30%

young people experience homelessness in our country every night 

of homeless youth have experienced a mental health crisis

of homeless youth reported at least one suicide attempt

of female youth who stay at Covenant House have been involved in some form of the sex industry, including sex for food

 

The problems of homelessness and sex trafficking are long-standing and complex, so any response has to be as well. Click below to see 

THE COVENANT HOUSE SOLUTION


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