Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. That is why the Government of Canada is committed to ending chronic homelessness across the country.
Today, the Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen, is announcing the launch of Everyone Counts 2021, a nationally coordinated Point-in-Time (PiT) Count of homelessness conducted in partnership with communities across Canada between March 1 and April 30, 2021. All communities across Canada are invited to participate.
PiT Counts contribute to developing a picture of homelessness at the community and national levels. They involve counting individuals and families who are staying in shelters, transitional housing, or who are sleeping outside, and include a survey capturing demographic details like age, gender, racial or Indigenous identity, and veteran status. Counts help communities better identify the needs of people experiencing homelessness and better coordinate and deliver local, tailored supports.
This year, PiT Counts will capture important data on the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on homelessness in Canada. The approach for this year’s PiT Counts has been modified to ensure communities are able to respect public health guidelines and complete their counts safely. Communities have been offered virtual training sessions on how to adapt their methodology to address local challenges and risks. Communities are also encouraged to consult with their local health authorities to develop the safest approach for their area.
“Every Canadian deserves a safe and affordable place to call home. This year, the Point-in-Time Counts will give us insight into how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted homelessness in communities. They will allow us to find solutions that meet the needs and experiences of the homeless population, as we continue our work to end chronic homelessness across the country.”
– Minister of Families, Children and Social Development, Ahmed Hussen
Coordinated Point-in-Time Counts are community initiatives that take place under Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. They provide vital information to communities about individuals experiencing homelessness, helping to identify their needs and plan community resources accordingly.
Preliminary results of the PiT Counts will be available mid-fall, and a more complete picture is expected in spring 2022. This data will then help inform future Government of Canada policies and programs related to preventing and reducing homelessness.
Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy was launched in 2019. It supports the goals of the National Housing Strategy, in particular, to help the most vulnerable Canadians in maintaining safe, stable and affordable housing and to reduce chronic homelessness nationally by 50% by 2027-28.
As part of the National Housing Strategy, the Government of Canada invested $2.2 billion over 10 years to extend and expand federal homelessness funding.
In November 2020, the Fall Economic Statement announced an additional $299.4 million for Reaching Home for 2021-22. These funds will enable communities to extend emergency health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among individuals experiencing homelessness. They will also help prevent at-risk Canadians from becoming homeless through targeted interventions, and create more permanent housing solutions.