Family Matters in Ontario: Understanding and Addressing Homelessness Among Newcomer Families in Canada


Canada, a key player in global humanitarian affairs is faced with enormous challenges in relation to housing and homelessness. As international migration continues to occur, homelessness among immigrant families is increasing worldwide; a situation that needs urgent attention and action.


We designed this study to explore the needs of homeless families, identify risk factors associated with family homelessness, and to find strategies that could assist in mitigating and preventing homelessness among families in Canada.


This paper reports qualitative findings from a focused ethnographic study embedded in participatory action research that explored the experiences of 11 immigrant families with housing challenges in Ontario Canada.


Thematic analysis yielded five (5) major themes: life challenges; lack of understanding of the system; difficulty with conflict resolution; escaping as a solution for hardship; and reducing immigrant family homelessness.


Findings from the study highlight the urgent need for advocacy and a well-tailored supportive housing policy to address family homelessness in Ontario.

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Canadian Journal of Nursing Research