Leger Marketing

Leger Marketing

May 18, 2005 04:00 ET

81% of GTA Residents: Homeless should be Major or Moderate Priority

Leger-Toronto Life GTA Poll (Torontonians & 905ers) on Public Priorities and Perceptions of Homelessness Attention: Assignment Editor, News Editor, Government/Political Affairs Editor TORONTO, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 18, 2005) - In Leger Marketing's inaugural monthly poll for Toronto Life Magazine, residents of the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) were surveyed about their priorities, preferences, and perceptions of Homelessness in their respective municipalities. Further evidence that homelessness is an emergent issue in the 905/Suburbs surrounding Toronto (specifically, the Regions of Durham, Halton, Peel, and York), the study found a notable consensus of opinion among Torontonians and their suburban neighbours across the key issues, as well as similar perceptions and donation patterns.

When considering their local government's priority agenda, eight-in-ten (81%) GTA residents say that Homelessness should be a major (43%) or moderate (38%) priority. Furthermore, close to half (46%) feel that there are not enough homeless shelters in their city, and two-thirds (68%) would allow a homeless shelter to be established in their neighbourhood - with almost no difference between Toronto and the 905 Belt.

Analysing attitudes towards homeless people reveals that two-thirds (68%) are opposed to forcibly removing the homeless from public places - four-in-ten (43%) strongly. Moreover, only a quarter (25%) feel that the homeless threaten their personal safety. When asked to state in their own words what - to the best of their knowledge - they think are the most common causes or reasons for homelessness, the top mentions of GTA residents fell into the categories of Mental Illness (41%), Addictions (36%), and Job Market Difficulties (32%). It is here that the differing perspectives between the Megacity and the Suburbs are to be noted, as more Torontonians (48%) than 905ers (36%) believe that Mental Illness is a key cause, whereas more 905ers (39%) than Hogtowners (26%) feel that difficulties in the Job Market are a common reason.

In the past year, seven-in-ten (71%) GTA residents say that they have donated money to at least one of the three homeless causes measured in the survey. Specifically, a majority (54%) have donated to a homeless charity, compared to four-in-ten (40%) who have given money to a panhandler and only 13% who have given money to a "Squeegee Kid". Perhaps not surprisingly, Torontonians (49%) are noticeably more likely than suburbanites (31%) to have donated money to panhandlers - but 905ers are almost as likely as Torontonians to have donated to "Squeegee Kids" and homeless charities.

/For further information: Full, detailed release available on our website: www.legermarketing.com/ IN: POLITICS, SOCIAL

Contact Information

  • Craig Worden, Associate Vice President, Public Affairs, Leger Marketing
    Primary Phone: 416-815-0330 ext. 105
    E-mail: cworden@legermarketing.com