About Homelessness

There are approximately 5,000 people in Toronto who are homeless, with nearly 3,200 people on the waitlist for supportive housing. The homeless are often victims of violence, suffer from poor health and nutrition, and a higher incidence of suicide. Children, youth, Aboriginal people, new immigrants, and refugees make up the segment experiencing the greatest growth.* 

The chronically homeless, those who are homeless for three months or more, are the hardest to help as they are often also dealing with other issues such as addiction and mental health.

Toronto also has a shortage of affordable housing. Many homeless rely on temporary shelters, emergency services or a friend’s hospitality. Others live “rough” in the city’s parks, ravines, and alleys.

Finding a safe, affordable place to live can be difficult. Homes First is here to help.


  • Number of low-income people in Toronto: 604,048
  • Annual income of a low-income adult: less than $20,778
  • Low-income people are most likely: visible minorities, recent immigrants, and single parents
  • Annual income needed to afford a one-bedroom apartment: $38,000
  • Percentage of single parents who earn less than that: 55
  • Percentage of couples who earn less than that: 31
  • Percentage of singles who earn less than that: 69
  • Annual amount for a single person receiving Ontario Works: $7,104
  • Monthly shelter allowance of Ontario Works: $368
  • Number of households living in housing that is too small needs repairs or is unaffordable: 1 in 5
  • Proportion of homeless people who want permanent housing: 9 out of 10




Toronto's Vital Signs Report 2016 - an analysis of how the city is doing across all sectors

The State of Homelessness in Canada 2016 

Here at Home: In search of the real cost of homelessness (Interactive Web-documentary)

The Homeless Hub

Homeless in Canada (Charity Intelligence Canada)

At Home: Early Findings Report

A Plan not a Dream: How to End Homelessness in 10 years

The State of Homelessness in Canada 2013

Red Roof Blog

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