In the fall of 2018, BIST received an Ontario Trillium Foundation Seed Grant for a Homeless Prevention Coordinator. Read our findings from this program, HERE & check out the INFOGRAPHIC with report highlights below.

Homeless Prevention Infographic-3

Brain Injury & Homelessness:

Acquired Brain Injury (ABI) is the number one killer and disabler for Canadians under 40. Common ABI symptoms – memory loss, chronic pain and fatigue, mental health issues, loss of inhibition, communication issues, decreased problem-solving skills and impulsivity – increase a person’s risk of becoming homeless.


  • 45% of homeless men have experienced a brain injury, and 87% of those injuries occurred before the individual became homeless (St Michael’s Hospital).
  • A Toronto Study found that 58% of homeless men and 42% of homeless women in Toronto have a brain injury, and the average age of first brain injury was 17 years old.
  • This population is at risk for experiencing seizures, mental health problems and poorer physical health.

Living with brain injury and being homeless harms a person’s wellbeing, and as such this population is:

  • 5 times more likely to have visited an emergency room in the past year
  • Twice as likely to have been arrested in the previous year
  • Three times as likely to have been victim of a physical assault in the past year

Brain injury and homelessnessBrain injury and homelessness

Brain Injury & Mental Health:

53% of homeless adults with a history of mental illness have a reported history of brain injury (St Michael’s Hospital).

This population is more likely to:

  • Report unmet health care needs
  • Have contact with the criminal justice system
  • Be suicidal or have previously attempted suicide
  • Use emergency departments
  • Finding housing for people with mental illness and head injuries is essential to helping these people more forward with their recovery.

brain injury and mental health

Brain Injury & Domestic Violence

  • 92% of women living in domestic violence shelters reported their partners hit them in the head more than once (Sojourner Centre).
  • There are over 20 million women in the U.S. who have an undiagnosed TBI
  • Brain injury is common in domestic violence victims, but many of these people refuse speak out or ask for help, preventing them from receiving the treatment they need.

Stop Domestic Violence