More homeless people are sleeping on the streets of Ottawa, study shows

More Ottawa homeless people are sleeping on the streets, not in emergency shelters, according to new city statistics.

The City of Ottawa released its 2021 Enumeration of People Experiencing Homelessness report Friday, giving officials a better understanding of the extent and nature of homelessness in the community.

During a 24-hour period on October 27 and 28, the city and 53 partner agencies conducted 1,340 surveys of individuals and families at 114 census sites.

Nine percent of people who were homeless remained on the street in 2021, compared to five percent in the 2018 survey. The survey shows that 55 percent of people who were homeless in Ottawa stayed in shelters, compared to 67 percent for three years. earlier.

The survey shows that 73 percent of respondents have stayed in emergency shelters at least once in the past year.

According to 2021 data, 13 percent of homeless people lived in temporary housing, 11 percent in someone else’s home and two percent in encampments.

More than half of respondents told the city that they had been homeless for more than 180 days in the previous year.

The survey found that 60 percent of the homeless in Ottawa were between the ages of 25 and 49. Eleven percent of residents identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual or some other sexual orientation, according to the city.

More than half of the survey’s 1,340 residents were identified as racialized. Four percent of Ottawa’s homeless population are former military or RCMP officers.

Ten percent of the respondents were accompanied by children.

Ontario’s Department of Housing requires municipalities to conduct a census of people who have become homeless every two years. The 2020 survey has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Participants answer a 10-minute survey about their demographics, health status, race, sexual orientation, language, reasons for homelessness, military service and source of income.

“Ottawa’s PiT Count for 2021 provided a snapshot of our population experiencing homelessness and serves as a means of measuring our progress towards eliminating chronic homelessness by 2030,” said a memo from Acting Director of Housing Services Saide Sayah and Donna Gray, General director of community and social services.

“This initiative is an important strategic exercise, which has delivered results that will increase our collective understanding of the needs and realities of people who are homeless in our community. The information collected will also serve us well for our future system planning activities.

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