Homelessness: How bad is it?

According to the most recent statistics, the federal estimate of the core number of homeless individuals in Canada was 200,000 in 2005, equaling approximately 1% of the population. However, homelessness advocates estimate the number of individuals sleeping outdoors to be between 20,000 and 30,000 annually on any given night, not including individuals qualifying in the hidden homelessness category. Per the CBC, at least 150,000 Canadians use a homeless shelter at some point in the year, and at least 50,000 Canadians are part of the “hidden homeless” on any given night – these are individuals staying with friends or relatives on a temporary basis as a result of their having no alternative refuge. In summary, the problem is bad, and worsening still. Things like soup kitchens and safe outdoor sleeping are urgently required, and undervalued as well as under supported by Federal annual planning.