Homeward Trust Edmonton

Homeward Trust Edmonton

October 05, 2010 13:00 ET

Homeward Trust and Volunteers Count Edmonton's Homeless

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 5, 2010) - From 5 in the morning until 10 at night, Homeward Trust volunteers are covering Edmonton to conduct a point-in-time count of our city's homeless population. The bi-annual count, which identified 3079 Edmontonians without a home in 2008, enables the monitoring of changes and trends of the homeless population.

Volunteers go out on in pairs on walking routes through Downtown and the City Centre, and areas such as Alberta Avenue and West Jasper Place. Counting also takes place at locations such as shelters, bottle depots, hospitals, and drop-in centres. In total, over 200 agencies and locations will participate.

"We are committed to ending homelessness in Edmonton, and knowing the scale of the challenge, and how best to meet it, is an important part of reaching our objective" said Susan McGee, Executive Director of Homeward Trust. "We know that programs such as housing first are helping people settle into their own homes, but there are many causes of homelessness. We don't know whether the number will be higher or lower than the 2008 Count. What is important is that the Count provides another way of measuring the work that lies ahead".

The results of the Count will be released in mid-late November. This will be the ninth count held in Edmonton.

Homeward Trust Edmonton is a not for profit organization that uses a community-based approach toward the goal of ending homelessness in Edmonton. Our primary role is to coordinate response to housing needs by working together with local agencies and all orders of government.

2010 Homeless Count: A Background

What Do Enumerators ask as Part of the Homeless Count?

  • "Have you been asked about your housing situation today"? or
  • "Have you been approached by a Count Volunteer today"?
  • If the answer is NO, then respondents are asked: "Do you have a permanent residence to return to tonight"?
  • If the answer is NO, volunteers observe (but don't ask) the age, gender, and ethnicity of the respondent
  • Volunteers then ask, "Do you have children age 16 or younger who will be staying with you tonight"?

What is the Definition of Homelessness?

  • We use the following definitions:
    • Absolute Homeless: Individuals and families who have no housing alternatives (may sleep 'on the street' or in a stairwell that night, or alternatively they may stay with a friend or find an emergency shelter space).
    • Sheltered Homeless: Individuals and families who are living in emergency accommodations or condemned housing and do not have a permanent place to live.

What Has the Result of Past Counts Been?

  • This will be the 9th Homeless Count in Edmonton
  • October 2008: 3079 people counted as homeless; this was up from 2618 in October 2006.
  • Methodology and time of year has been consistent in recent counts. This allows the Count to tell a story from one to the next.

What is Happening in the Effort to End Homelessness?

  • Since April 2009, 900 people have found housing through the housing first program; 85% remain successfully housed, meaning they have either graduated or are still in the 12 month program.
  • Homeward Trust coordinates the housing first program, which is delivered by 11 teams at different agencies throughout Edmonton.
  • Housing First participants housed in market apartments across Edmonton, some in other municipalities of the capital region.
  • Since 2001: Homeward Trust has funded 80 capital projects, and 75 support projects. The capital projects have created over 1900 new housing units in Edmonton.

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