On any given night in Calgary, more than 270 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, particularly 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 operates the only youth shelter in the city – Avenue 15.
- 293 youth were supported in their journey out of homelessness in 2019.
- 49% of youth at Avenue 15 Youth Shelter were staying there due to family breakdown.
- By focusing on family mediation and reunification, youth were diverted 145 times from ever staying at Avenue 15 and experiencing homelessness.
What’s the most important thing that changed in your life because of Avenue 15?
“I stopped consuming illegal substances, and I got a job. I started going to school and started getting my life together.”
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.