The number of people experiencing homelessness in the City of Kingston has risen this year compared to 2018.
That’s according to the United Way’s latest Point in Time homeless count, which took place in April. The results are now out, and revealed 207 people are without a home — up from 152 three years ago.
“Our count actually helps our community understand trends over time,” Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox and Addington United Way senior director Kim Hockey said.
“We get a great snapshot at a particular point time and we do it bi-annually at the same time of year to be able to make comparisons,”
“Housing is so expensive, and I’m on ODSP. You know it’s not much. It’s hard,” said Brad Joyce.
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Joyce took part in the survey as he is currently unhoused and is staying at Kingston’s Integrated Care Hub.
“We need surveys to realize how many people there are out there without homes,” Joyce said. “There’s hundreds and hundreds of people. They sleep down on Princess Street under tarps,” Joyce said.
“I walked down there this morning (there were) seven people down there. And they have nowhere to go because they’re full (at the care hub)… it’s sad.”
“I think one of the really important things about the survey is that we have the voice of the service users given to us directly and that’s a privilege to be able to have that kind of information,” said Hockey.
“And yes, they let us know what the circumstances are — the things that have led them to being homeless, how long they’ve been homeless, the needs that they have, why they aren’t able to find housing — what the barriers are,” Hockey added.
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Along with gauging the number of people without a home in the city, the survey has also shed light on who is most vulnerable.
“Female homelessness continues to be on the rise. Forty per cent in the 2021 Point in Time count — a little bit lower than 2018, but still much higher time than our national average,” said Hockey.
“Youth homelessness is very consistent; 33 per cent of our overall homeless population continues to be youth,” she added.
According to the United Way, its new numbers are comparable to a real-time registry process now being used by the housing & homelessness system in Kingston.
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