The Kenora District Services Board is looking closely at the results of their recent study, in the hopes of better understanding and quantifying homelessness. Through the support of the Ministry of Housing, the KDSB has conducted its first Period Prevalence Count of homelessness in each of the nine municipalities of the Kenora District
.A Period Prevalence Count is a method for counting and obtaining information about people who are experiencing homelessness and can help communities track changes over time. The PPC collected information about those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless in the region. Information collected includes: frequency and reasoning for being homeless, age, race, gender identity and factors that impact homelessness.
All results of the study were self-identified by those surveyed. Across the region, 393 self-identified as being homeless. Out of those 393, 273 said that they battled with addictions, 215 said that they struggled with mental health, and 184 said that they had previously been in foster care.
There were 223 homeless people in Kenora, 67 in Dryden, 66 in Sioux Lookout, 19 in Red Lake, 11 in Pickle Lake, 5 in Ignace, 1 in Lac Seul, and 1 in Vermilion Bay.
There were homeless youth and homeless seniors in the study, but the majority of people were between the ages of 25 and 55. The majority of those surveyed identified as Indigenous. The study found that 56 per cent of the homeless population in the region identified as male, 42 per cent identified as female, 1 per cent as transgender and 1 per cent declined to answer.
Now that the board has the numbers available, they say that they will submit the data to the province, prepare a district-level report, look into community-specific data and to share that data with the public. The community specific data is set to be released this fall. The board will also be using the results for future service planning.
The services board adds that homelessness has become a complex issue in the district, with many people experiencing homelessness at some point in their lives. They add that some people who experience homelessness do not make use of conventional facilities, such as emergency shelters, making it difficult to plan appropriate services and supports.
The KDSB added that the collection of the data would not have been possible without the support of a variety of community agencies, service providers, emergency responders and municipalities.
For more information:
Kenora District Homelessness Enumeration Period Prevalence Count