New Brunswick needs more emergency shelters for homeless youth, according to a new report on homelessness.
The Community Action Group on Homelessness, an umbrella group of organizations, released its third annual provincial report card on Monday.
It identifies a need for youth shelters for Saint John and Bathurst, as well as one for boys in Fredericton.
'We have youth that are either in unstable living situations, crashing on people's couches, they're in some cases staying in cars or outdoors.'—Mark Leger, Greater Saint John Homelessness Steering Committee
As it stands, only Moncton and Miramichi have youth shelters, while Fredericton has one for girls.
Mark Leger, co-ordinator of the Greater Saint John Homelessness Steering Committee, said homelessness is often a hidden problem and it's getting worse.
"We have youth that are either in unstable living situations, crashing on people's couches, they're in some cases staying in cars or outdoors. A lot of them are accessing the men's shelters or the women's shelters, and it's not a very appropriate place for youth."
Leger said several groups in Saint John are working together to get a youth shelter set up in the city.
"This project was...gaining steam and had a lot support behind it, but we were kind of missing a lead partner. The Anglican church has stepped up to the plate and agreed to help us."
Colin McDonald works with a poverty reduction group. He said the community movement is encouraging, but that shouldn't let government off the hook.
"It's gotta be a collaborative process. I think that the responsibility of our community is government's. I think it's all level of governments, I also think it's our business community, I also think its our faith community."
The proposed shelter for Saint John would be in the city's south end, but details are still being worked out.