Feds plan landmark study of homeless populations in 30 communities

Don’t be surprised if someone with a clipboard approaches you in the next few months and asks whether you have a place to sleep.

See Full Article

The federal government said Wednesday that it will conduct a landmark “Point-in-Time” count of homelessness in 30 Canadian communities during a single 24-hour period, sometime before April 30.

The purpose of a PiT count is to identify nearly all individuals who are sleeping in emergency shelters or outdoors, and to survey the homeless population to determine risk factors, demographics and local needs.

PiT surveyors, who are often volunteers, will ask everyone they see outside a small number of questions to determine whether they fit the definition of homelessness.

Those who do may be asked their age, gender, aboriginal identity, and whether they are veterans.

They will also be asked whether they’re sleeping in bus shelters, vehicles, tents, abandoned buildings or emergency shelters.

And they may answer questions about what might have caused them to lose their home. For example, did they have an illness or addiction, face eviction from an apartment, experience a job loss or flee domestic abuse?

Jesse Donaldson, the PiT count coordinator for the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness at York University in Toronto, said the establishment of a federal count will allow those working to end homelessness learn more about the population they’re trying to help and measure whether particular interventions are working.

“It allows communities to make adjustments (and) try different solutions,” Donaldson said. “To know: ‘Is what we’re doing working?’”

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Jean-Yves Duclos said in a statement that the count will give communities “a better understanding of homelessness and will develop the necessary supports where they are most needed.”

The federal government’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) is providing $600 million over five years (from 2014-19), according to the statement.

The HPS pivoted to a “Housing First” approach in 2013. “This primarily involves moving individuals who are chronically or episodically homeless from the streets or homeless shelters directly into permanent housing,” according to Employment and Social Development Canada.

Donaldson said the federal PiT count will increase the number of communities where quality data is available, and improve estimates of the scope of the problem.

According to the Homeless Hub’s 2014 State of Homelessness in Canada report:

  • An estimated 35,000 Canadians are homeless on a given night.
  • About 13,000 to 33,000 are chronically or episodically homeless.
  • Roughly 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness in a given year.
  • About 180,000 of those homeless in a given year end up in emergency shelters.
  • Approximately 50,000 of them end up in provisional housing like motels and on couches.
  • An estimated 5,000 of them end up sleeping outside of a shelter.
  • There are about 544,000 units of social housing funded by federal and provincial governments, compared to 700,000 in 1993.


Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Alberta legislature session to begin under new Premier Jason Kenney

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- The Alberta legislature is to start a new session today with a lot of new faces and a new government in charge. Premier Jason Kenney and the 63 members of his United Conservative caucus are to be sworn in as legislature members and a Speaker is to be chosen. Source
  • Thousands of Saudi students remain in Canada, despite Riyadh's pledge to axe scholarships

    Canada News CBC News
    Thousands of university students from Saudi Arabia remain in Canada despite being ordered out of the country by their government last August, but planning is underway to mitigate the impact on Canadian universities when those students graduate and are not replaced. Source
  • 'Like Christmas every day': A billionaire's pledge to erase this class's college debts could echo for decades

    World News CBC News
    Morehouse College, the private, all-male, historically black college in Atlanta that counts Martin Luther King among its alumni, expects its attendees to aspire to greatness. Soon, many in the graduating class of 2019 can start doing so, no matter the cost. Source
  • Mississippi 6-week abortion ban heads to federal court

    World News CTV News
    JACKSON, Miss. -- A federal judge who struck down Mississippi's 15-week abortion ban last year is hearing arguments about a new law that puts the ban even earlier. The law would prohibit most abortions once a fetal heartbeat can be detected, at about six weeks, when many women may not know they're pregnant. Source
  • Accused New Zealand mosque shooter charged with terrorism

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- New Zealand police on Tuesday filed a terrorism charge against the man accused of killing 51 people at two Christchurch mosques. Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, 28, was already facing murder and attempted murder charges from the March 15 shootings. Source
  • New Zealand police file terrorism charge against man accused of massacre in mosques

    World News CBC News
    New Zealand police have charged the man accused of murder in shootings at two Christchurch mosques in March with engaging in a terrorist act, they said on Tuesday. In an attack broadcast live on Facebook, a lone gunman armed with semi-automatic weapons targeted Muslims attending Friday prayers, killing 51 worshippers and wounding dozens of people. Source
  • Yemen rebels say drone hits arms depot at Saudi airport

    World News CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Yemen's Houthi rebels said Tuesday they launched a bomb-laden drone targeting an airport in Saudi Arabia that also has a military base inside of it, an attack acknowledged by the kingdom as Mideast tensions remain high between Iran and the U.S. Source
  • Yemen rebels say their drone hit arms depot at Saudi airport

    World News CTV News
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates -- Yemen's Houthi rebels said Tuesday they launched a bomb-laden drone into Saudi Arabia, targeting an airport with a military base -- an attack acknowledged by the kingdom as Mideast tensions remain high between Iran and the United States. Source
  • Ex-White House lawyer to skip hearing as Democrats debate next steps

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- House Democrats are facing yet another brazen attempt by President Donald Trump to stonewall their investigations, this time with former White House counsel Donald McGahn defying a subpoena for his testimony on orders from the White House. Source
  • New Zealand crews reenter coal mine 8 years after 29 killed

    World News CTV News
    WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Crews in New Zealand on Tuesday reentered an underground coal mine where a methane explosion killed 29 workers more than eight years ago, raising hopes among family members that they might find bodies and new evidence that leads to criminal charges. Source