Nova Scotia Journal

The homeless population in Halifax area almost doubled in four years

Nova Scotia

Key takeaways: 

  • Five hundred eighty-six people have no permanent residence, according to count.
  • The group behind the counter said the number of new people accessing services is equal to the number of “chronically homeless” individuals, with 41 percent of respondents reporting they’d first undergone homelessness during the pandemic.

According to a new report, Halifax’s homeless population has almost doubled over the previous four years, with about half of respondents undergoing homelessness for the first time in the last two years due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Data from the Point-in-Time Count was released Tuesday, saying that on April 7 this year, 586 people in the Halifax Regional Municipality were without a secure, permanent address, of which 357 were participants in the survey.

The counts are surveys executed across Canada and provide a one-day snapshot of homelessness in different municipalities. The last count in the Halifax region saw that on the evening of April 24, 2018, there were 220 homeless people recorded.

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According to a new report, Halifax’s homeless population has almost doubled over the previous four years, with about half of respondents undergoing homelessness for the first time in the last two years due mainly to the COVID-19 pandemic

“There are so many people homeless, way more than we’ve ever seen, and that’s awful,” said Eric Jonsson, the survey’s lead, during a video exhibition on Tuesday. “The property market is roaring. Lots of people are profiting from it. But I think we’re leaving a larger and larger chunk of the population behind.”

The crew behind the counter said the number of new people accessing services is equal to the number of “chronically stray” people, with 41 percent of respondents saying they’d first undergone homelessness during the pandemic.

Charlene Gagnon, a data critic who worked on the report, said the results mirror the highest number of homeless people the study has estimated in the Halifax region since the surveys started in 2015.

Source – cbc.ca

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