Youth Homelessness and Self Identity: A View from Canada

This paper is based on the analysis of data collected from the National Canadian Homeless Youth Survey and addresses the question: why do some youth who received support from social service agencies that cater to the needs of homeless youth self-identify as being homeless while others do not? According to self-report survey data obtained from 1103 young people from over 50 youth homeless service centres from across Canada, findings show that youth who self-identified as being homeless shared several backgrounds and current situational characteristics not common among youth in the sample who did not consider themselves to be homeless. The findings illustrate the importance of past trauma and the intensity of day to day hardship in self-identifying as a homeless young person.

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Journal of Youth Studies