Families from different parts of world come to Canada and endure all the hardship and the reason is better life and opportunities for their kids. A study has shown that immigrant kids are more likely to become distant from their families and become homeless. Main reason for it is cultural clash.
After coming to a new country, struggling parents sometimes loose their connection with their growing kids. Parents come from a different cultural upbringing and kids growing up in Canada have different ideas. They get in tassel over Canadian Culture versus tradition, as well as disapproval over sexual orientation.
According to a groundbreaking Toronto study to be released Tuesday, inter-generational conflict over cultural differences is the most common reason immigrant youth end up homeless — followed by family disapproval of the young person’s sexual orientation.
“The main precipitant of their homelessness is the clashes between the new culture people are coming to, which is freer and easier, and the old, traditional life their parents had,” said Dr. Kwame McKenzie, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, which conducted the joint study with CAS Toronto.
One-third of Canada’s 65,000 homeless population are youths, and of those, nearly one-quarter were born outside Canada. The study’s definition of homelessness include those staying outside, staying in a shelter or transitional housing, having no fixed address, “couch-surfing” or staying at a friend’s or family’s home.
Through partnerships with community groups, researchers interviewed 74 homeless immigrant youth in Toronto — 45 per cent women, 55 per cent men — and surveyed service providers to get a better picture of their needs and support available.
Among the sample of participants, 36 per cent of the youth were from the Caribbean, followed by Africa (27 per cent), the Middle East (10 per cent) and South America (9 per cent).
More than half were permanent residents, with 37 per cent being Canadian citizens, 27 per cent somewhere in the asylum process and 7 per cent here on visitor or student visas. Many started becoming homeless at age 17, and the average length of homelessness was 30 months.
It is not all bad though. There are many immigrant families who strive here. We have immigrants who make a difference and their kids who are graduating with flying marks. In fact, majority of University graduates are children of immigrants. Driving force behind them are the push and motivation of their parents. It takes a conscious parent to realize that getting successful in Canada also means preserving their future by having a balanced and open-minded relationship with their kids. There are bound to be some differences but important thing is how they navigate it as a family. There are always some gives and some takes.
We wish you a successful family life in Canada.