Recognizing World Homelessness Day: October 10, 2022

September 30, 2022 | Liana

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Written in collaboration with Jenny Huntley.

World Homeless Day which is now held on almost every continent emerged from online worldwide aid worker discussions starting from 2010. It is observed every year on the 10th of October. The purpose of World Homeless Day is to draw attention to people who experience homelessness and provide opportunities for the community to get involved in responding to this issue.

In Toronto alone, it is estimated that 18,096 individuals are experiencing homelessness, while there are only 3,529 shelter beds available as a short term solution. (Stats from homeless hub, 2021)

In this post, we are sharing some action ideas on how you can make difference along with some resources and reading recommendations to help raise awareness of this important issue.

Window shadow on wall and floor of modern room
Image courtesy of Kayley Dlugos on Pexels.

How to Make a Difference

  1. Learn yourself and educate others – use the day as an opportunity to learn about the issues homeless are facing and raise awareness in your community.
  2. Host a World Homeless Day fundraiser – any fundraising effort can turn into a huge gain for those needing support. Simplest ideas like scavenger hunt, bake sale, art show, dance marathon, or a race can be used to inspire and motivate people to get involved.
  3. Make a donation – every penny matters. Look for trustworthy charities. There are many that focus on global homelessness and some that are dedicated to specific countries. Despite financial donations, many organisations are happy to accept products such as clothes, blankets, gift cards, food, toiletries, etc. 
  4. Thank volunteers – use the day as an opportunity to thank volunteers for all the hard work they do. Any gesture of appreciation like tagging them in social media, sending a postcard, or planting a tree or a plant in volunteers’ honour would be inspirational.
  5. Highlight local issues – despite multiple efforts, there are many local issues that are not yet spoken about. Contribute to society by bringing up the issues locally or in the media.  
  6. Volunteer - provide hands-on help supporting local shelters and organisations that need assistance.


A Group of Volunteers Assisting an Elderly Person on a Black Wheelchair For Charity
Image courtesy of RODNAE Productions on Pexels.


Related Community Resources

Community plans by City of Toronto

Homeless counts and data in Toronto

Reports/research on homelessness in Toronto and Canada


Related Books

On our street

On our street : our first talk about poverty by Jillian Roberts. 2018.

From the ashes

From the ashes : my story of being Métis, homeless, and finding my way by Jesse Thistle. 2019.

Troop 6000

Troop 6000 : the Girl Scout troop that began in a shelter and inspired the world by Nikita Stewart. 2020.

Finding home in the promised land

Finding home in the promised land : a personal history of homelessness and social exile by Jane Harris. 2015.

The Freedom Writers diary

The Freedom Writers diary : how a teacher and 150 teens used writing to change themselves and the world around them by Freedom Writers. 2009. 

Post edited on Nov 08, 2022: changed the image at the beginning of the post.