Half of Canada’s homeless population is women and girls.
Toronto – September 29th is National Action Day to End Homelessness for Women and Girls. With new polling information showing that more than 50% of Canadians support putting a priority on affordable housing for low income and homeless people, the national campaigns Homes for Women and All Our Sisters are drawing attention to ending homelessness among women and girls.
“Almost half the people struggling without homes in Canada are women and girls,” says Paulette Senior, CEO of YWCA Canada. “They’re not visible because it’s not safe for them to be seen. Homeless women and girls use any means possible to stay off the streets, whether it’s couch-surfing with friends, trading sex for a place to crash, or lucking into a bed in one of the few emergency shelters dedicated to women.”
“Child sexual abuse, violence at home and homophobia are major drivers of girls’ homelessness,” says Ann Decter, Coordinator of Homes for Women and YWCA Canada Director of Advocacy. “That teenage girl slouched on a downtown sidewalk, or wandering the streets at night, she’s there because abuse of some kind put her there. She needs a path to a safe home, not one that leads to a lifelong cycle of abuse, trauma, poverty and homelessness.”
National Action Day to End Homelessness for Women and Girls is part of a week of action organized by housing advocates across Canada. Advocates are calling for a rights-based national housing strategy and federal re-investment in affordable housing of at least $2 billion per year. That level of investment was supported by more than 50% of those reached in a recent survey conducted by Ekos and commissioned by the Vote Housing For All Network.
YWCA Canada is the organizer of the Homes for Women Campaign and the country’s oldest and largest women’s multi-service organization, with 32 Member Associations in nine provinces and two territories. YWCA Canada is the nation’s single largest provider of shelter to women and children fleeing violence, the second largest provider of childcare services, and an active member of the World YWCA. For more information visit www.homesforwomen.ca or www.ywcacanada.ca.
All Our Sisters is a national network focused on women and homelessness that recently released a Best Practice Guideline for Ending Women’s and Girls’ Homelessness.