Homelessness in Halton - what are the stats and what are the reasons.

News 100 redBy Staff

August 6th, 2019

BURLINGTON, ON

 

A Community Lens report from Community Development Halton sets out just what homelessness is.

What is homelessness? According to the Canadian Observatory on Homelessness, homelessness is “the situation of an individual, family, or community, without stable, safe, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect means and ability of acquiring it.” The homeless population is hard to count because of their mobility and the cyclical nature of homelessness.
Homelessness isn’t a huge problem in Halton; 271 individuals/head of household experiencing homelessness were identified in 2018 compared to 264 in 2016.

The first coordinated Point-in-Time (PiT) Count of homelessness in Canada took place in 2016 covering 32 communities. The second count that took place in 2018 included 62 communities. Halton Region participated in both Point-in-Time counts.

Homless head count ALLWithin the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA), Halton ranks third after the City of Toronto and Peel Region in terms of the homeless rate (per 100,000 residents).

Homeless head count HALTONIn Halton, over half of the homeless individuals stayed in transitional housing (38%) and shelters (27%). Oakville has the highest rate of homelessness (65.5 persons/100,000 residents) followed by Burlington at 40.9 persons/100,000 residents, in terms of rate of homelessness (per 100,000 residents) in 2018.

Many factors are at play that result in an individual or head of a household to experience homelessness. Homelessness is usually the result of the cumulative effects of a number of factors such as family conflict, job loss, or unaffordable housing. Based on the two Point-in-Time surveys (2016 and 2018), family conflict ranks as the top reason(s) for homelessness.

Family conflict includes conflict or poor relationship between parents and children, physical violence, or sexual abuse. Lack of affordable housing is another top reason for homelessness. Job loss and precarious employment can easily lead to homelessness. Less than one-quarter (24%) of the homeless individuals are employed. Another reason for homelessness is those fleeing domestic violence which includes physical, sexual, or psychological harm by a current/former partner or spouse as well as by other family members, or by a partner’s family member.

Homeless reasosnsWhatever the reason for the homelessness, adequate support needs to be in place ensure that dignity, well-being and a road out of homelessness are in place for anyone who needs the help.

The oft heard phrase “Get a job” is not the answer to the homelessness problem.

Community Lens is prepared by Community Development Halton to disseminate and interpret important community data as it becomes available. For more information please contact CDH at data@cdhalton.ca or 905-632-1975

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2 comments to Homelessness in Halton – what are the stats and what are the reasons.

  • MrBean

    Gambling addiction takes money away from many families and puts it into the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) with no end in sight

  • Steve S

    A big reason for becoming homeless that is not addressed directly is alcohol and drug abuse. Putting it under “family conflict” makes it sound simple and so easy to fix.

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