Homelessness is a worldwide ongoing controversial matter that is not just limited to the world’s underdeveloped countries, but includes advanced countries, thought to be the most developed and wealthiest (Casavant, 1999). Individuals become homeless because of inadequate affordable housing supply and income, individual crises, health problems, mental health challenges, addictions, trauma, war, veteran issues, child abuse and involvement with the justice system (Casavant, 1999). The topic of homelessness can be branched into subcategories that are more specific. For this research paper, the central topic will surround youth homelessness. Street youth are of both sexes, and represent wide range of demographic backgrounds (Sherman, 1992). The failure to identify and find resolutions to eliminate youth homelessness in Canada is often the reason why younger people, between the ages of 13 and 24, are finding themselves without stable or consistent residence and a source of income (Gaetz, O’Grady, Buccieri, Karabanow, & Marsolais, 2013). The transition from childhood to adulthood is hindered as the youth lack many of the social supports presumed necessary (Gaetz et al., 2013). The cause as to why more and more youth live on the street is still up for discussion. The two main sides of this controversial debate are between those who assume that youth homelessness is a lifestyle caused by immoral choices and desire for freedom, and those who feel that youth homelessness is caused by numerous uncontrollable events and factors (Gaetz et al., 2013). Many researchers and service providers conclude that the conditions homeless youth faced before becoming homeless is what give them perseverance to stay on the streets regardless of harsh conditions (Homelessness Questions and Answers, 2009; Why do Young, 2009). This topic and causes of homeless youth are still unresolved, and continuously becoming a problematic uncontrollable issue all around the world.History of the Issue
An important contribution to the history of youth homelessness began with a woman by the name of Eva Maud Smith (History, 2016). In 1956, Jamaican domestic worker Eva Smith, immigrated to Canada, where she highlighted the problems of youth homelessness and rallied supporters (History, 2016). She spoke about how adult shelters were not meeting the needs of the youth and were not reducing the long-term chronic homelessness (History, 2016). In Toronto and New York, the first youth shelter in Toronto named, Eva’s Place, was opened (History, 2016). Even after Smith had passed away, in 1993, the first reduction shelter for youth, Eva’s Satellite, opened to provide to the needs of youth struggling with addictions and mental health (History, 2016). Shortly after, Eva’s Phoenix was open to help youth with skills to maintain housing and employment. Although, Eva shelters help many homeless youth every year, the numbers have not decreased (History, 2016). On the contrary, the numbers have drastically increased over the last few years, as there was a 200 percent increase of economic factors causing runaways and an increase of homeless students (Homeless and Runaway Youth, 2016). Resolutions and serious efforts must be made by policy makers to ensure the reduction of homeless youth in the future.