In Canada, an estimated 150,000 to 300,000 people are homeless, living in shelters or on the streets. On any given night, 40,000 people stay in homeless shelters and The Salvation Army provides one quarter of all shelter beds across the country.
Now, in 2011, Canada is the only major country in the world without a national housing program designed to ensure safe, adequate, accessible, and affordable housing to all Canadians. Some countries have housing programs that aren’t that great, but at least they have programs.
Canada needs to take a serious look at the rise in mass homelessness. While many communities across the country are working to develop and maintain homelessness initiatives, these initiatives are difficult to sustain in the absence of provincial and national policies.