National project will focus on preventing homelessness and addressing its impact on children and familiesTORONTO, March 13, 2014 /CNW/ - Raising the Roof is pleased to announce the RBC Foundation as the Lead Partner in their Child and Family Homelessness Initiative. This project, the first of its kind in Canada, will shed light on the causes of, and potential solutions to, child and family homelessness. In keeping with its commitment to children's mental health, RBC's support will be directed specifically towards understanding the impact of homelessness on a child's mental well-being. Thousands of children and their families across Canada face homelessness every year. Current statistics tell an alarming story: emergency shelter use by families is escalating - from an average stay of 30 nights in 2005, to 50 nights by 2008. Between 2005 and 2009, the estimated number of children using emergency shelters grew from 6,205 to 9,459. The average age of those children was 6 ½ years old*. Carolann Barr, Executive Director of Raising the Roof observes, "We have already completed the first step of this project - an environmental scan. Next, we'll examine ways in which Canada and other countries support the immediate and long-term well-being of children experiencing homelessness. With the help of eight carefully chosen project partners, we will also highlight promising practices and develop a framework that communities and governments can use to address child and family homelessness in their neighbourhoods and jurisdictions." http://raisingtheroof.org/Our-Programs/Child---Family-Homelessness.aspx "Children who experience the physical and emotional stress of homelessness are at risk of developing mental health issues in childhood or later life," notes Leeann Signorotti, regional vice-president, RBC Private Banking for the Greater Toronto region. "Many of us who know struggling families or have visited shelters in our communities, want to see young children receive the support they need to be healthy and happy - inside and out. That's why we are pleased to support Raising the Roof's initiative to help shed light on mental health issues and lessen the traumatic impact of homelessness." In 2013, RBC introduced the RBC Believe in Kids Pledge, a five-year, $100 million commitment to improving the well-being of at least one million children and youth in Canada. By supporting Raising the Roof as part of this pledge, RBC is contributing to building a healthier and safer future for Canada's next generation. * (Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, Homelessness Partnering Strategy, The National Shelter Study [2005-2009]).About RBC's Commitment to Community and Sustainability Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada's largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. We employ approximately 79,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 42 other countries. For more information, please visit rbc.com. RBC is recognized among the world's financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada's Greenest Employers, and one of Canada's 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations. RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, we contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at www.rbc.com/community-sustainability. About Raising the Roof Raising the Roof provides strong and effective national leadership on long-term solutions to homelessness through partnership and collaboration with diverse stakeholders, investment in local communities, and public education.