Homelessness has many faces. Adults, youth, and families all experience homelessness.
Learn more about each group below, and for detailed statistics, please see our 2021 Administrative Count report.
Men make up the majority of people without a permanent home in Calgary.
A combination of systemic issues and personal circumstances contribute to men’s experiences of homelessness.. For example, a man may not have a home because there isn’t enough affordable housing and because he has a physical disability.
Men who identify as Indigenous are also at a higher risk of experiencing homelessness, because they must contend with the legacy of colonialism and the trauma associated with it.
Women make up almost a third of the people experiencing homelessness in Calgary.
But we know there are more, even if they’re not counted in official surveys, because women are more likely to couch surf or to live temporarily with friends or family when they don’t have a home.
Women resort to temporary accommodation, because living on the streets or in shelters greatly increases their risk of sexual exploitation, abuse, and violence. This makes it difficult to locate women in an official count, and as a result, their experiences of homelessness often go unnoticed.
A “youth” is a person between the ages of 13 to 24 without a permanent night-time residence.
According to the research:
Youth often experience homelessness after experiencing family conflict and violence.
Youth who identify as LGBTQ2S+ are over-represented in the homeless population. Family conflict over their sexual orientation often means they can’t return home.
Unlike adults, youth generally need more support when experiencing homelessness, because they are still developing physically, emotionally, psychologically and socially.
Families may experience homelessness because of low incomes, precarious employment, a lack of affordable housing, or because of separation or domestic violence.