Nearly 2,800 Calgarians are experiencing homelessness in Calgary, but that number is dropping according to a new point-in-time count from the Calgary Homeless Foundation (CHF).
The CHF released its 2022 Point-in-Time count early Wednesday.
It showed 2,782 on Sept. 27, 2022 were experiencing homelessness in Calgary. That compares with 2,911 in 2018 and 3,222 in 2016.
“The PiT Count provides an opportunity to have a clearer understanding of people experiencing homelessness in our city,” said Patricia Jones, President, and CEO of the Calgary Homeless Foundation.
“It allowed outreach teams with whom CHF partners to speak directly to those experiencing homelessness to continue to develop relationships, build trust, and identify emerging community issues from their point of view.”
The announcement of the data comes on the heels of research delivered in Calgary the day prior, that said across Canada the number of homeless is systematically undercounted.
That group, led by Dr. Cheryl Forchuk at the Lawson Health Research Institute, suggested using health data would be a more accurate way to tally the homeless population.
According to the PiT data, 78 per cent of those counted were between the ages of 25 and 64. The count also found that people identifying as Indigenous are more likely to live unsheltered, including in vehicles and encampments.
Of the homeless population, 71 per cent accesses emergency shelters, transitional housing and other programs. The other 29 per cent live on the streets, in encampments or are found at hospitals, corrections facilities with friends, or in vehicles.
The PiT count takes place every two years and helps determine resource allocation.
“The Calgary Homeless Foundation recognizes that inflation and a lack of affordable housing significantly impact people experiencing homelessness in our city,” read their media release.
“We also recognize that we need to continue to work alongside Indigenous organizations and communities who provide culturally appropriate facilities and services.”
For the full data, you can visit their website.