A report released jointly by Toronto-based non-profit community agencies Street Health and Sistering has found that many homeless women in Toronto are exposed to disease and sexual abuse.
A survey of 97 homeless Toronto women found that 37% had been physically assaulted, while 21% had been sexually assaulted in the last 12 months.
"If you're locked out of a shelter and you have nowhere to sleep, where do you go?" said study coordinator Kate Mason, of Street Health. "These women are at risk of being exploited. They're extremely vulnerable."
Majority of the women also have serious conditions like heart disease, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and diabetes
"A lot of these conditions are life-threatening on their own, and even more so for the homeless. These chronic conditions often go unmanaged," Mason said.