An increasing number of individuals from First Nations and Inuit people are ending up a part of the homeless population.

Some individuals leave their communities to live, or spend an indefinite amount of time, in urban areas. They have different reasons for doing so, including:

  • To study
  • To have access to health care
  • To escape the lack of opportunities for the future in their community
  • To escape specific issues

Some characteristics of the community itself can also cause a person to leave, such as overcrowding, unsanitary conditions and lack of housing.

In urban areas, many aboriginals experience an identity and culture shock caused by the anonymity and the absence of a community life similar to where they come from. This renders them vulnerable to urban realities and increases their risk of living in poverty.

In urban centres, aboriginals also face new challenges conducive to vagrancy or homelessness, for instance:

  • Discrimination
  • Being cut off from their social environment and isolation
  • Losing their bearings regarding, among other things, the language spoken, food, culture and identity