Youth Without Shelter

Ending Homelessness…one youth at a time, one step at a time.

The City of Toronto is one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Nonetheless, we have the largest homeless population in Canada. 28% of homeless people in Toronto are aged between 16 and 24. Youth Without Shelter is an emergency residence and referral agency serving homeless youth. Through six key programs, Youth Without Shelter provides diverse client-focused services in a safe, non-judgemental environment.

Youth Homelessness:

  • It is estimated that 3 out of every 100 youth in Toronto is homeless.
  • Many homeless youth become homeless before they are 16
  • On any given night, 1500 – 2000 youth in Toronto are homeless
  • Youth face barriers to income support, education, paid employment and rental accommodation simply due to their age
  • Homeless youth have high drop out rates and experience challenges in school, including bullying and difficulties related to learning disabilities. 
  • The longer youth remain homeless, the worse their health and life chances become

Youth Without Shelter serves youth:

  • From all levels of socio-economic, religious and cultural background and sexual orientation
  • Between the ages of 16 and 24
  • 60% of  clients are male
  • Over 70% have experienced some form of sexual, physical or emotional abuse
  • Approximately 30% are experiencing mental health issues
  • Approximately 34% have considered suicide
  • Approximately 33% suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Approximately 20% are struggling with addictions
  • Approximately 65% come from families with substance abuse problems
  • Prior to arriving at YWS, 40% have gone without food for at least one day in the past week
  • Approximately 60% of homeless youth have completed Grade 11 or less
  • Estimated 25-40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ


Sources: CBC News Report No Way Home 2004; Youth Homelessness in Canada, The Road To Solutions by Raising the Roof, March 2009; Improving the Health of Canadians: Mental Health and Homelessness 2006 Toronto by Canadian Institute for Health Information; Without A Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey 2016.