TORONTO, Sept. 30 (UPI) — Homeless young people are the victims of crime at rates that would be considered unacceptable for any other groups, Canadian researchers say.
Researchers at York University in Toronto and University of Guelph suggest youth homelessness needs to be addressed with a balanced response rather than reliance on emergency services. They say transitional support is needed to help move young people out of homelessness.
“The very people we are taught to fear are the ones who are most at risk,” Stephen Gaetz of York University says in a statement. “More than 76 percent of the homeless youth we surveyed said they had been victims of violent crime in the past year and almost three-quarters of them reported multiple incidents.”
In contrast, Gaetz says, the Canadian General Social Survey reports about 40 percent of general population young people reported being crime victims in the previous year.
Gaetz and colleagues interviewed 244 homeless youths in Toronto. Their report was commissioned by Justice for Children and Youth, a non-profit clinic that provides legal advice and support to homeless youth in Toronto.
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