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Salvation Army and Vision Critical Review Perceptions About Canada’s Homeless

Canadians have spoken and they have something to say about homelessness in Canada. A report released this month by The Salvation Army provides a unique look into how Canadians feel about the more than 150,000 homeless living on the streets in cities across the country. The report, “Canada Speaks,” is a part of The Salvation Army’s ongoing Dignity Project—a national effort to educate and engage Canadians about the reality of poverty in the 21st century.

The survey of more than 1,000 Canadians, conducted this April by Vision Critical, revealed that a surprising number of Canadians have had first-hand experience with homelessness and related issues – nearly one-quarter of Canadians have received or are currently receiving assistance from a food bank or charitable group while seven percent reported that they have had to sleep on the street or in a shelter due to lack of housing at some point in their lives

“The people of Canada have spoken and revealed much about their attitudes and perceptions about the nation’s homeless,” said Commissioner William Francis, leader of The Salvation Army in Canada and Bermuda. “We hope that through this report and the Dignity Project, we can continue to educate and inspire the public and work towards a Canada without homelessness.”

“I am saddened to see that a significant minority of Canadians believe a number of myths about the homeless; like they choose to be homeless, that most are mentally ill and that homeless people are scary,” said Vision Critical’s Chief Research Officer Andrew Grenville. “That’s simply not true, as the Salvation Army’s report makes clear. There is a lot Canadians can do to help provide the homeless with the ability to get off the street and into housing.  And that’s where the Salvation Army’s Dignity Project comes in.”

The previous report “Debunking the myths about poverty in Canada” can be accessed here.

The new report “Canada Speaks” can be accessed here.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is an international Christian organization that began its work in Canada in 1882 and has grown to become the largest non-governmental direct provider of social services in the country. The Salvation Army gives hope and support to vulnerable people today and everyday in 400 communities across Canada and more than 120 countries around the world. The Salvation Army offers practical assistance for children and families, often tending to the basic necessities of life, providing shelter for homeless people and rehabilitation for people who have lost control of their lives to an addiction. When you give to The Salvation Army, you are investing in the future of marginalized and overlooked people in your community.