Fast paced. Multicultural. Forward Thinking. And awe-inspiring. Toronto is Ontario’s capital city and Canada’s financial hub. This vibrant metropolis is also the largest contributor to our country’s economy. Home to over 2.7 million people who speak over 140 languages and dialects, this city is indisputably one of the most ethnically diverse and accepting cities on the planet. It’s even earned itself the rep of being ranked as the “safest large metropolitan area in North America by Places Rated Almanac.” However, often easily overlooked, there are also over 5,000 homeless people currently present in Toronto, Ontario. This population of homeless individuals rarely benefits from the accepting and welcoming nature of Torontonians. And the notion of our streets being safe is a laughable one to those facing the challenges of living on Toronto’s streets. As a small group of merely 5000 individuals amongst nearly 3 million people, they stand a very low chance of being heard.
The one place the homeless are clearly underrepresented the most is the job market. The homeless are often discarded by the majority of the general public and treated as if they don’t exist, don’t matter, or worse – are a burden on the rest of society. The reality of the situation is quite to the contrary. These are individuals from varying paths of life that are in fact not much different than any of us. While some of them may seem to have given up hopes of a brighter future altogether, there are many waiting to jump at the opportunity to get their life back together. Unfortunately, the social services provided by our government don’t necessarily aid them in this process. Often times, homeless support programs just enable these individuals to remain condemned to the same circumstances and life situation that they are struggling to get out of. Many individuals disregard the homeless population’s problems by saying ‘they should go get a job’ without taking a moment to consider the difficulty of securing a job in today’s competitive job market without any access to basic modern day necessities such as computers, e-mail or a cell phone where they could potentially receive a job interview call. These individuals need the help of their fellow community members if they are going to escape their present situation and have a chance at becoming economically contributive members of society. At Kanata Job we believe that it is our duty as citizens of this beautiful country and inhabitants of this vast land to ensure the safety and well-being of our fellow man. It is not enough to label this important job as a task for the government to handle. If the current system was working, the number of homeless people would be on the decline rather than in constant steady increase. The dangers that homeless individuals face on the streets everyday are greatly underestimated by the public. Hundreds of homeless people have died in Toronto over the last few decades and there are no precise statistics as a Star Newspaper investigation revealed that “most municipalities across Ontario do not track homeless deaths fully — or at all — and as a result, have no accurate understanding of the scope of the tragedy and how best to solve it.” 
What can you do to help?
There is a great deal that you can do as an individual to help us make a positive impact in the lives of homeless people across the country.
Please do not underestimate the power that you have to help someone in need. And please do not forget, “with great power, comes great responsibility.” This holiday season, we encourage you to do your part to help make our beautiful city welcoming for all who inhabit it.