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Videos: Population
No one is safe from experiencing homelessness. No one chooses to be homeless and it can happen to anyone. In most cases, it is the intersection of structural factors, personal histories and individual characteristics that leads to homelessness. Structural factors include: the growing gap between the rich and the poor, the decrease in affordable housing supply; the decrease in services, supports and social assistance; and, discrimination and racism. Personal histories and individual characteristics include: catastrophic events; loss of employment; family break up; onset of mental and/or other debilitating illnesses; substance use by oneself or family members; a history of physical, sexual or emotional abuse; and, involvement in the child welfare system. Every community in Canada has homeless people, even if you don't see them on the street.

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A program of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services