Better Off in a Shelter? A Year of Homelessness & Housing among Status Immigrant, Non-Status Migrant, & Canadian-Born Families

One significant segment of Canada’s unhoused population is families with children. Within this group are many immigrant and refugee families. Homelessness and shelter life impose great stress on mothers and their children. For immigrants who are also undergoing the stress of adapting to a new environment and a new culture, which may include learning English, the stress is compounded. A better understanding of the way in which discrimination contributes to homelessness among immigrant and refugee families with children can improve public policy and programs for immigrant families, thereby reducing family homelessness. The study focused on Toronto, where almost half of all immigrants settle after their arrival in Canada. Toronto is also one of the highest-cost housing markets in Canada and the city where newcomers face the greatest affordability problems, and therefore the greatest risk of homelessness.

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