Summitt Energy continues its support of Covenant House this winter by proudly donating to help give young people a life of opportunity.
Why We Need Covenant House
Across the country, in large and small communities, there are thousands of vulnerable young people who have found themselves without a place to call home. These youth spend their nights crashing at friends’ places, sleeping in homeless shelters, or even in alleys, doorways or parks.
Here are some alarming facts about homeless youth in this country:
- Over the course of the year, the number of young people who spend some time homeless in Canada is as many as 40,000, and on any given night, there may be up to 7,000 homeless youth
- Young people who are homeless (ages 13-24) make up approximately 20 percent of the homeless population in Canada
- In a recent study, 40 percent of homeless youth were younger than 16 when they first experienced homelessness
- Homeless youth often have multiple episodes of homelessness. In a national survey, over 86 percent of homeless youth had a previous episode of homelessness and 50 percent reported five or more episodes
Who Are These Kids?
Homeless kids come from every part of the country and every background, but there are factors that put some youth more at risk.
- In a recent national survey, almost 80 percent of homeless youth reported leaving home because of family conflict, 63 percent of homeless youth reported childhood trauma and abuse
- Almost 60 percent reported some involvement with child welfare in the past
- Many homeless youth experienced challenges in school. About 83 percent experienced bullying in school, which is four times more than Canadian youth in general, and 50 percent of homeless youth reported being tested for a learning disability. The drop-out rate for homeless youth is 53 percent, compared to the nine percent national rate
- A high percentage of homeless youth experience declining mental health. In a recent national survey, 42 percent reported at least one suicide attempt. If the youth was exposed to sexual and physical violence on the street, the youth was over three times more likely to experience serious mental health challenges
- There are typically more homeless male youth than females (63 percent of youth in shelters are male), however this may be an outcome of the fact that young women are especially at risk of crime and violence while homeless, leading them to find alternatives even if those also pose significant risk
- Certain significant groups of youth are over-represented, including Aboriginal youth, and in cities like Toronto, black youth. LGBTQ+ youth make up between 25-40 percent of the homeless youth population
Summitt Energy Helps Covenant House Give Youth A Life Of Opportunity
Covenant House (www.covenanthousetoronto.ca) is Canada’s largest homeless youth agency and it is having significant success with changing lives. It’s a warm and welcoming space for youth, aged 16 (the minimum legal age in Ontario) to 24, most of whom, are fleeing homes with abuse and neglect. By providing the widest range of services and support under one roof, including a 24/7 crisis shelter and a longer-term residential program, education, counselling, health care, employment assistance and job training, Covenant House is giving young people a life of opportunity.
To accomplish all of this, the agency relies on donors for 80 per cent of their annual operating budget. Summitt Energy is proud be a regular donor to Covenant House and to support their efforts to help more than 3,000 young people annually.
1-8] Gaetz, S., O’Grady, B., Kidd, S., & Schwan, K. (2016): Without A Home: The National Youth Homelessness Survey. Toronto: Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press.
 Segaert, A. (2012). The National Shelter Study: Emergency shelter Use in Canada 2005-2009. Ottawa: Homelessness Partnering Secretariat, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada.
 Baskin, C. (2013). Shaking Off the Colonial Inheritance: Homeless Indigenous Youth Resist, Reclaim and Reconnect. Toronto: Canadian Observatory On Homelessness.
 Springer, J.; Lum, J.; Roswell, T. (2013). Policy Challeges to Homelessness Among Caribbean Youth in Toronto. Toronto: Canadian Observatory On Homelessness.
 Abramovich, A.I. (2013). No Fixed Address: Young, Queer, and Restless. Toronto: Canadian Observatory On Homelessness.