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The City of Toronto’s population of homeless which includes, people staying outdoors, in emergency shelters, and in correctional health care facilities on one night in 2013 was estimated to be 5,219. An estimated 157,000 people are homeless each year in Canada. People can be pushed into homelessness by a variety of factors — the loss of a job, mental illness, addictions, family violence or abuse, extreme poverty. This data is increasing on an alarming rate and so is unemployment and poverty.
The prevalence of household food insecurity in Toronto was at 12% according to the 2012 census. Also, the majority of food insecure households across Canada (62.2%) were working, while of households reliant on social assistance, 70% were food insecure (Tarasuk et al., 2014). These statistics demonstrate the increasing numbers of “working poor” (Metcalf, 2012) and the inadequacy of existing government programs to support people living on limited or fixed incomes. The Daily Bread’s annual survey revealed an alarming trend of almost one-in-ten people relying on food banks.
According to the Census of City of Toronto Urban Development Services, Policy & Research Division projections version 1.4 (2002) in the city of Toronto, there are approximately 338,000 people over the age of 65, representing 14 per cent of the City's total population.
The City's population continues to age and seniors are the fastest growing age group. The number of seniors has almost doubled within the last 30 years. The 75+ age group alone has increased by 138 per cent since 1971. By 2031, projections are that 16 per cent of our population - or nearly 480,000 people will be over the age of 65. The 75+ age group is expected to increase by nearly 50 per cent between 2001 and 2031. 600,000 seniors in Canada live in poverty, including more than 1 in 4 single seniors according to new Statistics Canada report.