On Tuesday, September 27, Lethbridge will take part in a coordinated effort to measure homelessness across Canada. Over 65 communities are participating in the third nationally coordinated Point-in-Time (PiT) Homeless Count in Canada.
While core standards are set federally, the Alberta 7 Cities on Housing and Homelessness is coordinating specific elements of the count such as date/time to allow for comparability between the cities on a provincial level.
The City of Lethbridge Community Social Development department, in partnership with homeless serving agencies and outreach teams, will conduct the count on the evening of Tuesday, September 27. Over the course of six hours, trained staff and volunteers will enumerate and survey individuals who are staying in shelters, short-term housing and sleeping rough (without shelter). Our PiT Count will provide a "snapshot" of homelessness in Lethbridge, and indicate the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in our community. Other forms of homelessness, such as people staying temporarily with friends, are not typically included in a PiT Count.
In 2018, the Lethbridge PiT count found 223 individuals experiencing homelessness. The 2022 PiT Count will improve the City's understanding of the needs, circumstances, and characteristics of the people who are affected by homelessness in our community. The survey will provide the City with key data on gender, age, ethnicity, history of homelessness, health challenges experienced by those who are homeless and more.
Results from the PiT Count will be used to improve our community's response by identifying service needs and informing plans to prevent and reduce homelessness. In the future, successive counts will allow us to measure progress towards our ultimate goal: ending homelessness in Lethbridge.
A report compiling the data will be made publically available later this fall. The findings will be directly shared with count partners, those who work in the sector and those who experience homelessness. Results will also be publically available on the City's website at lethbridge.ca/csd.
The Lethbridge PiT Count has received support from Reaching Home, Government of Canada's Homelessness Strategy (Employment and Social Development Canada).
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