Friday, May 1, 2015

Media Release- City of Hamilton presents survey findings identifying most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness

City of Hamilton presents survey findings identifying most vulnerable people experiencing homelessness

City of Hamilton 20,000 Homes Registry Week Survey Results Are In

HAMILTON, ON – April 30, 2015 – At a community presentation in Council Chambers, City of Hamilton Housing Services Division staff presented survey findings from the 20,000 Homes Registry Week.

On April 26 and 27, over 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.

The City of Hamilton is one of the first communities in Canada to pilot the 20,000 Homes Campaign and was selected as a pilot community because of our history of supporting Housing First programs.

“We are not starting from scratch, Hamilton has been committed to the Housing First philosophy for

a number of years and our community partners are dedicated to our goal of ensuring that everyone in Hamilton has a home,” says Gillian Hendry, Director of the City’s Housing Services Division.

The goal was to connect with as many people as possible experiencing homelessness; to understand the big picture of need in our community and the levels of vulnerability; and to inform planning and prioritization of appropriate responses.

Call to Action:
121 permanent housing placements locally in 2015/2016
Engage landlords
Work with other levels of government
Continue the work of housing system integration
National Housing Strategy

Here are a few key findings:

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 per cent were between the ages of 14 and 25; 43 per cent were between the ages of 25 and 49; 34 per cent were between the ages of 50 and 64; and 4 per cent were 65+

Gender Identity
68 per cent Male; 30 per cent Female; 1 per cent Transgender


84 per cent reported having a mental health condition
60 per cent reported having a chronic health condition
21 per cent reported using the Hospital to access healthcare
73 per cent reported having a substance use condition

Safety and Risks

40 per cent reported that they have been attacked or beaten up since becoming homeless.
20 per cent reported that they have been forced into doing things they didn’t want to do.

Socialization and Daily Function
62 per cent reported not having enough money to meet all monthly expenses
43 per cent reported not having daily activities that bring you that bring happiness and fulfillment

Legal and Criminal Justice
16 per cent reported having been in jail/prison
20 per cent reported having legal situations

Foster Care
25 per cent have been in foster care

7 per cent of those surveyed have served in the Canadian Armed Forces

About 20,000 Homes

The 20,000 Homes Campaign is a national campaign to house 20,000 of Canada’s most vulnerable homeless people by July 1, 2018. Hamilton has been selected as one of three cities to pilot a Registry Week (April 26-30) in advance of the campaign’s formal launch expected early this summer.

The 20,000 Homes Campaign is being led by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness, and was inspired by the U.S. 100,000 Homes Campaign (www.100khomes.org).

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