The City of Ottawa, in collaboration with 53 partner agencies, will carry out a Point-in-Time Count for 24 hours, from noon on Wednesday, October 27 until noon on Thursday, October 28. The Count will provide the City with a snapshot of its homeless population and help develop and implement services, programs and policies that reflect the needs of residents.
The Count is being conducted to fulfill provincial and federal requirements. In 2018, the provincial government amended the Housing Services Act, 2011, requiring all Ontario municipalities to conduct local enumeration of people experiencing homelessness every two years. The Count also provides the federal government with a better picture of the national homeless population to support their ongoing work to prevent and reduce homelessness across the country.
The City completed its first Count in April 2018 (see report attached below). Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 count was postponed to 2021.
The Count will be conducted in known locations, including:
- where people staying outdoors spend time
- emergency shelters for adults and youth
- violence-against-women shelters
- day programs
- Indigenous agencies
- community health centres
- social service centres
The Count will also occur at local hospitals, correctional centres, transitional housing, and addiction and mental health treatment programs. The City’s Housing Services has also designed walking routes that include known locations of people living on the street, to reach residents who do not use shelters or other services.
To obtain a complete snapshot of its homeless population, the City plans to reach the hidden homeless. These are individuals and families who do not have permanent housing but are staying with family, friends, neighbours or strangers because they have no other options. Since these households may not be accessing housing supports, they are typically not included in standard statistics regarding homelessness.
Any resident who is experiencing hidden homelessness, such as staying with friends or family, can contact 3-1-1 to complete the survey by phone. Residents can also contact the Point-in-Time Count Command Centre at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 3-1-1 (TTY: 613-580-2401) to obtain information on locations where they can complete the survey in person, such as day programs, community health and resource centres and at Indigenous agencies.
Participants will answer a survey about their demographics, family status and history, citizenship, health conditions, race, sexual orientation, language, Indigenous ancestry, reasons for homelessness, military service, child welfare experience and source of income.
The City will share results from the Point-in-Time Count in January 2022.
Enumeration of people experiencing homelessness 2018
The City of Ottawa conducted its inaugural PiT Count in April of 2018, which provided invaluable baseline information related to the state of homelessness in our city. Working in collaboration with 59 partner agencies, 200 surveyors at 118 enumeration sites, 1,400 people experiencing homelessness were surveyed. Please see Infographic attached for an overview of the 2018 PiT Count.