A local homeless count in February shows that 30 people were absolutely homeless in North Bay on Feb. 25 – this includes those staying in shelters and unsheltered locations.
And while the count was geographically limited to North Bay, the number of absolute homeless increases, when considering other women’s shelters in the neighboring communities of Nipissing First Nation, Sturgeon Falls, and Mattawa.
The count also revealed a further 25 people staying in transitional housing, which includes housing and supports for those suffering from substance abuse and addictions, or serious mental illness.
On the day of the point in time (PiT) count, a further 43 people in North Bay were identified as being at risk of homelessness or part of the hidden homeless population. Many of these individuals were staying in public systems such as the hospital or jail, or at someone else’s place (‘couch-surfing’).
An additional 76 individuals with “No Fixed Address” were staying at the North Bay Regional Health Centre (NBRHC) on Feb. 25 and are also considered part of this at risk /hidden homeless group, under the PiT Count methodology.
Additional PiT Count results will be released in June after further analysis of the data.
Over a period of 24 hours, the volunteers counted and surveyed individuals that met the HPS definition of absolute homelessness. This included those staying in emergency shelters, temporary (transitional) accommodation and unsheltered locations, such as sidewalks, parks and other public places.
The PiT Count results will improve the understanding of the needs and circumstances of people who are affected by homelessness in North Bay and provide insight into forming local homelessness policies and plans, and will help to improve service delivery, outcomes, and advocacy for the homeless.
The survey, which took place on February 25, 2016, is a nationally coordinated effort, led by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS), to measure homelessness in Canada.
It's the first of its kind in North Bay, and was led by the District of Nipissing Social Services Administration Board in conjunction with the Nipissing District Homelessness and Housing Partnership. The count was contracted through the AIDS Committee of North Bay, and supervised by a PiT Coordinator and Assistant who worked with more than 25 volunteers, numerous service providers, and a steering committee to organize and implement the local homelessness count and survey.
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