In Calgary on any given night, over 300 youth are experiencing homelessness.
Homeless youth or youth experiencing homelessness refers to any youth that may be temporarily living in hostels, staying with friends, living in ‘squats’, renting cheap rooms in boarding houses or hotels, or actually living on the streets. They may also be living with parents or relatives, but be at imminent risk of losing their shelter.
For many homeless youth, moving between various housing situations can be argued as the instability of their housing situation, which characterizes their status as homeless youth.
Although there are similarities between the experience of homelessness for young people and adults, Homeless youth typically lack the experience and skills necessary to live independently, and this is especially true for those under the age of 18.
While the category of homeless youth is marked by incredible diversity, what unites this population is its youthful age and lack of experience of independent living. This is important to consider because any response to homelessness – if it is to be effective – must address the causes and the conditions of homelessness.
Boys & Girls Clubs of Calgary’s Youth Housing and Shelter Program offer 11 programs and operates two of the three youth shelters in Calgary, of that our Avenue 15 is the largest youth homeless shelter in the city. Our shelters serve on average 200 youth per year. Our 828-HOPE line hit record numbers in 2015, providing outreach support to 547 youth.
The Homeless Hub
A web-based research library and information centre representing an innovative step forward in the use of technology to enhance knowledge mobilization and networking.
The Provincial Plan
Alberta has experienced success in addressing homelessness through the 10-Year Plan. Since its inception in 2009, more than 9,865 homeless Albertans have received housing and supports and approximately 73% remain successfully housed, but we can do more.