News Releases

Hamilton to Participate in the First Cross-Canada Coordinated Point-in-Time Homeless Count

Hamilton, ON – November 12, 2015 - In February 2016, the City of Hamilton will take part in a coordinated effort to measure homelessness across Canada. Recommended by the Federal Government, this is the first time communities across the country will participate in a Point-in-Time Count at the same time, using the same approach. 

Our local information will contribute to the understanding of homelessness nationally and will provide important results locally. The Point-in-Time Count will provide a snapshot of homelessness across the City and make it possible to measure changes over time. It will also gather information on the needs of people experiencing homelessness so that individuals with the most severe issues can be connected to supports in the community to help them achieve stable housing.

Overall results from the Point-in-Time Count will be made publicly available and the City will use this information to direct resources to areas of greatest need. Future counts will allow us to measure progress towards our ultimate goal: ending homelessness in Hamilton.

Hamilton’s Point-in-Time Count will improve our understanding of the needs and circumstances of the people who are affected by homelessness in our community. The survey will provide us with key data on demographics, health, social needs, history of homelessness, and much more.

The Point-in-Time Count will use the same methods as the 20,000 Homes Campaign, and will build on this work by expanding the geographic scope to encompass the entire city. Over two days, trained volunteers will count and survey individuals who are staying in shelters, short-term housing and sleeping rough (without shelter).  

The Point-in-Time Count has received support from the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (Employment and Social Development Canada). The coordinated effort will contribute to the national picture of homelessness across Canada.

The Point-in-Time Count will provide us with a more accurate count of those experiencing homelessness as well as an update to our priority list of the most vulnerable individuals – ensuring those with the greatest need are housed and adequately supported.

Key Findings from Hamilton’s 20,000 Homes Registry Week - April 26 & 27, 2015

Over a two day period, 150 committed community volunteers, on 40 teams led by professional service staff canvassed the streets, community agencies, and emergency shelters in Hamilton and completed a short health and housing survey with over 470 people experiencing homelessness located in the downtown core.

  • Average total length of time homeless on the streets or in shelters: 3 years
  • Average number of episodes of homelessness in the past three years: 2

  • 19% were between the ages of 14 and 25
  • 43% were between the ages of 25 and 49
  • 34% were between the ages of 50 and 64
  • 4% were age 65+
Gender Identity

  • 68% male
  • 30% female
  • 1% transgender

  • 84% reported having a mental health condition
  • 60% reported having a chronic health condition
  • 21% reported using the Hospital to access healthcare
  • 73% reported having a substance use condition
Safety & Risks

  • 40% reported that they have been attacked or beaten up since becoming homeless.
  • 20% reported that they have been forced into doing things they didn’t want to do.
Socialization & Daily Function

  • 62% reported not having enough money to meet all monthly expenses
  • 43% reported not having daily activities that bring you that bring happiness and fulfilment
Legal & Criminal Justice

  • 16% reported having been in jail/prison
  • 20% reported having legal situations
Foster Care

  • 25% have been in foster care

  • 7% of those surveyed served in the Canadian Armed Forces