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New survey finds over half of Canadian youth feel there is a risk of them becoming homeless in the next few years

Homeless youth are LockedOut of the job market. Virgin Mobile RE*Generation challenges Canadians to UnLock opportunities for youth by supporting programs that get them the experience, training and opportunities they need to secure meaningful jobs and emerge from the cycle of homelessness. 

There are approximately 225,000 Canadian youth out of work or not in school, and more than 6,000 of them sleep on the streets on any given night. A new study by Virgin Mobile Canada, commissioned with Innovation Curation for Virgin Mobile RE*Generation, found that 1 in 3 Canadians know someone who has been homeless and 53 per cent of youth feel there is some risk of becoming homeless over the next few years. Nine per cent of youth surveyed even identified as being homeless at some point in their life.

These numbers are even more alarming when recognizing that over half of youth surveyed (53 per cent) agree that it is difficult to find your first career job. Forty-two per cent believed they landed a position through connections and admitted that if they hadn't received a few key breaks as a youth, they could have been in a much worse situation.

Getting that first career job is hard; even those who have the skills, connections and opportunity to apply find it difficult to get their foot in the door, said Joseph Ottorino, managing director, Virgin Mobile Canada. If you're at-risk or homeless and lack the experience and training, it's even harder. These youth are LockedOut of the job market and we need to work together to UnLock opportunities for them.

Sixty-eight per cent of Canadians surveyed agree that at-risk and homeless youth will not emerge from their current situation without help. To make a difference, all Canadians can text the word REGEN to 30333 to donate $5 to Virgin Mobile RE*Generation. Virgin MobileMembers can also add Change for a Dollar to their monthly phone bill to donate $1/month to the cause.

With the contributions from Members and Canadians, Virgin Mobile RE*Generation can help its partners provide at-risk and homeless youth with skills-training programs that help them get jobs. By 2017, Virgin Mobile RE*Generation will help 450 at-risk and homeless youth develop skills to land jobs. To learn more about getting involved, head to www.virginmobile.ca/regen.

Additional survey findings:

  • Majority of Canadians (82 per cent) believe that helping at-risk/homeless youth find their first job helps society as well as the individual
  • 83 per cent of Canadians agree that issues of at-risk and homeless youth should be addressed
  • 77 per cent of Canadians - and youth - agree that government must find partners to help address the issues of at-risk and homeless youth
  • 68 per cent say youth need help finding and excelling at their first career job
  • 19 per cent of Canadian youth say they couch-surfed before age 30


About Virgin Mobile RE*Generation

In 2008, Virgin Mobile RE*Generation was created to empower a generation to help its own and support at-risk and homeless youth. This initiative gives Virgin Mobile Members and Canadians a chance to help at-risk and homeless youth gain skills to get jobs. Donations are invested in training programs run by leading youth-serving agencies across the country. The goal is to help  help 450 youth get jobs by 2017 - and that's just the start.

Join Virgin Mobile RE*Generation to help youth emerge from the cycle of homelessness. Visit www.virginmobile.ca/regen for more information.


About Virgin Mobile Canada

At Virgin Mobile, you're not a customer, you're a Member and Members Get exclusive deals from awesome brands, a shot at VIP access and one-of-a-kind experiences to events in Canada and around the world. That's on top of super-hot smartphones on ridiculously-fast LTE speeds and plans with loads of extras built right in! Virgin Mobile Members and Canadians can do some good in their local communities by helping empower at-risk and homeless youth in Canada with Virgin Mobile RE*Generation.

Wanna hook up? There are loads of ways: head online or call 1-888-999-2321 to get in the know. Get personal with Virgin Mobile Canada on FacebookTwitterInstagram or Pinterest.



An online survey of 1,036 Canadians between the ages of 20 and 80 was conducted in April of 2015. About half of the sample came from Canadians in the age range of 20 to 30; the sample has been re-weighted to reflect the population distribution.



Innovation Curation (IC) is a market research consultancy based in Toronto, Ontario. IC works with organizations to identify and socialize insights based on their customers to orient and inspire value-creating strategy and tactics. IC has activated insights for national governments, international agencies, academic institutions, global brands, and start-ups. Please visit www.innovationcuration.com for more information.


For more information, please contact:

Sheryl Davey Kerametlian, Virgin Mobile Canada



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