Youth Homelessness

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Youth Homelessness

What do YOU think it would be like to be homeless? Could you imagine not knowing when you will eat or where you will sleep next? On a realistic level, how would you feel not being able to shower and wearing dirty clothes day in and day out not knowing when you will be able to wash them? I think it would be safe to say that the majority of us would agree with the line from John Payne’s poem Home, Sweet Home: “Be it ever so humble, there is no place like home”. Yet thousands and thousands of people in Canada have no home to call their own. We have all witnessed people asking for money in desperation, with all their belongings in plastic bags and nowhere to go. It is very hard for our society to understand how people end up in such situations as homelessness. Research shows that homeless people come from all areas and backgrounds. There are many organizations throughout the GTA and Canada that provide help for the homeless. Although these organizations provide emergency night shelters, immediate health care, and soup kitchens, there is still a large quantity of people that require help and we are not meeting those requirements. Researchers have concluded that more than 80% of youth who seek help from organizations, are homeless due to family dysfunction, abuse or eviction. More often than usual these youth find themselves sleeping on the streets before seeking help. Many of these youth ages 16 to 20 have no credibility or way of supporting themselves. I feel that if our society wants these people to become self-sufficient, it is essential to offer help in the form of housing, and assisting them to either return to school, or to gain certification through training to improve their chances of finding employment.

Unfortunately, many homeless youth are “befriended” by drug addicts or encouraged into prostitution. For many of the runaways due to abuse, many wonder how bad their situations must be if they would face addiction and sexually...
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