More than 30,000 Canadians are homeless every night across the country; at least 200,000 Canadians experience homelessness throughout the year, and as many as 1.3 million Canadians have experienced homelessness or extremely insecure housing over the past five years. Those are among the many findings in a powerful new national report card released today called the State of Homelessness in Canada 2013.
Not only is homelessness affecting the lives and health of the growing number of people who directly experience homelessness, but the cost of managing a growing homeless population is estimated by the new report at $7 billion annually.
While Canada (alone among the major countries of the world) doesn’t have a comprehensive national housing and homeless plan, the new report card does note that there is progress pointing to a solution in communities across the country. The five-year renewal of the federal homelessness program and the Mental Health Commission of Canada’s successful At Home/Chez Soi project are two positive examples cited in the latest report card.
The Wellesley Institute’s Precarious Housing in Canada provides an overview of housing insecurity and homelessness at the national level, in each of the provinces and in selected urban areas.
The Street Health report sets out the links between homelessness and health.