Putting an End to Child & Family Homelessness in Canada
Family homelessness is a significant - yet hidden - part of the homelessness crisis in Canada. Some researchers have identified visible homelessness as only the “tip of the iceberg” of what is a much larger and critical affordable housing problem in Canada. Studies have shown that many families are forced to live in overcrowded, sub-standard housing and regularly make the choice between paying the rent and feeding the kids.
While research into this issue is limited, the numbers that are available reflect the extent of this growing problem. Currently, 3.1 million households in Canada are living in unaffordable housing. Emergency Shelter use among children and families increased by 50% between 2005 and 2009. 1 in 5 children in Canada currently lives in poverty.
Recognizing a gap in knowledge, Raising the Roof embarked on the three-year national Child & Family Homelessness Initiative. This involved researching national and international promising practices and programs and partnering with eight community agencies to perform 139 interviews with agency staff and family clients. Findings from this large-scale research initiative as well as a national Summit have culminated into one final report, released today.
Putting an End to Child & Family Homelessness in Canada is now publicly available, and includes a proposed framework for addressing the issue, research findings, promising practices, innovative programs, and a comprehensive list of recommendations for all levels of government and community agencies.