In 1989, the federal government passed a unanimous resolution to “seek to achieve the goal of eliminating poverty among Canadian children by the year 2000.” Despite that resolution, in 2005, more than 1 in 6 Canadian children live in poverty – a statistic worse than in 1989.  Approximately 30% of children living in poverty live in families where at least one parent worked full time, all year. Employment is up, and more families are working, but are still not making enough to make ends meet. 
Persons who are homeless fall into one of three categories: the absolute homeless, the hidden homeless or at risk of being homeless. The absolute homeless are those who are “sleeping rough”, living their days and nights on the streets or in the shelter system. The hidden homeless are those who are staying temporarily with friends or family, and others are at risk of homelessness because of possible eviction, inability to pay the rent, or release from prison with nowhere to go.
Homelessness is a highly visible problem in Canada, and to both the casual or experienced observer, one that is growing to crisis proportions. However, there remains no reliable method for counting the number of persons who are homeless, and as a result no one is really sure how many people live on the streets or in substandard shelter.
This is due in part to a lack of consensus on how homelessness should be defined – should a definition include only those living on the streets or in shelters, or those living in substandard conditions that do not meet basic health and safety standards, and that most of us would never reasonably call ‘home’?
Further, the very nature of homelessness makes counting the people affected a challenge. Our homeless population has no fixed address, is mobile and in many cases, hidden – all of which make an accurate count a seemingly unattainable target, and something statisticians are reluctant to attempt. As a result, there are simply no official, accurate Canadian national statistics on homelessness.
The federal government addresses poverty through tax measures, such as the child tax credit, and programs such as employment insurance and job training. Through the Homelessness Partnering Strategy, it provides some support for governments and community level organizations and programs seeking to find solutions to homelessness.
 Campaign 2000, Decision Time for Canada: Let’s Make Poverty History. 2005 Report Card on Child Poverty in Canada.
 Canadian Council on Social Development (CCSD), using Statistics Canada’s Survey of Labour and Income Dynamics, masterfile (1993-2003).