Homelessness in Canada

  • 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a given year
  • 30,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a given night
  • 50,000 more Canadians are among the “hidden homeless” on any given night (those staying temporarily with family or friends who are harder to count, though still vulnerable)
  • Youth make up 20% of the homeless population in Canada
  • Homelessness costs the Canadian economy $7 billion annually (due to costs from emergency services, hospital visits, police interactions, et cetera)
  • Homelessness can be eliminated! Medicine Hat, Alberta utilized a Housing First strategy to tackle homelessness, and it worked.


Source: Stephen Gaetz, Jesse Donaldson, Tim Richter, & Tanya Gulliver (2013): The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013. Toronto: Canadian Homelessness Research Network Press.