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Youth make up 20% of homeless Canadians: report

According to the first ever National Youth Homelessness Survey in Canada, about 40,000 young Canadians find themselves homeless every year.

In fact, youth between the ages of 13 to 24 make up 20 per cent of the country’s homeless population.

Of those people, about 30 per cent identify as LGBTQ, 30 per cent are First Nations and 28 per cent are of a racial minority.

A whopping 40 per cent of homeless youth said they were first homeless before they turned 16.

"So many youth have their first experience of homelessness in their early teens, and our research shows that once on the streets things really go downhill," said Stephen Gaetz, director of the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at York University. "If we don't address youth homelessness early, we will be dealing with chronic adult homelessness in the future."

Between 6,000 and 7,000 youth don't have a safe place to sleep every night, making.

Without A Home – The National Youth Homelessness Survey found that understanding the causes and conditions of youth homelessness are vital to supporting homeless youth and breaking the cycle.

They found that homeless youth are more likely to be tested for learning disabilities, face bullying, be victims of crime, like sexual assault, experience mental health and addiction issues, attempt suicide and become chronically homeless.

The report comes with recommendations that The Government of Canada should implement a Youth Homelessness Strategy supported by a targeted investment, supported by provincial and municipal agencies.

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