Newcomers to Canada, including immigrants and refugees, are at risk of homelessness due to various factors, such as: poverty, discrimination, cuts to social programs, unrecognized foreign employment and educational credentials, delays in work permits and mental illness. As a result, more and more immigrants and refugees are requiring shelter, drop-in, and other housing services.

The needs of newcomers who have become homeless are often different than those who are Canadian-born. They are often adjusting to a new language and culture and may face unique challenges with respect to employment, health and legal issues. But some shelter and drop-in staff lack the time, skills or resources to effectively house and settle newcomers. While there are not broad systemic attempts to develop shelter and drop-in services that are accessible, appropriate, and responsive to the needs of this population this is increasing, especially in urban areas.