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Indicators of Well-being in Canada


Housing - Homeless Shelters and Beds

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The homeless shelters and beds indicator examines the number and type of shelters and the number of beds available to serve the needs of homeless individuals and families. Some homeless individuals or families may need shelter temporarily. Others may need both shelter and support services to get back on their feet.  

This indicator shows the number of known shelters and beds. As such, it may not provide a complete count of all the shelters or beds serving the needs of the homeless across Canada.

Summary

  • National Picture - As of November 2012, there were an estimated 1,082 shelters serving homeless individuals and families in Canada. These shelters had 27,824 beds available on a regular basis. In March 2006, there were 859 known shelters with 21,988 regular beds.
  • Regions - In 2012, the distribution of beds in shelters tended to follow the distribution of the population, with the largest proportion of these beds being in communities in Ontario (37.3%). On average, there were 78 beds per 100,000 people in Canada. However, in the three Territories the number was three times as high with 282 beds per 100,000 people.

National Picture

As of November 2012, there were 1,082 shelters serving homeless individuals and families in Canada. In March 2006, there were 859 shelters.


This Chart contains data for Shelters serving homeless individuals and families, Canada, 2006 and 2012. Information is available in table below 2012 = 1,082 2006 = 859 (number of known shelters) Shelters serving homeless individuals and families, Canada, 2006 and 2012

Source: For 2006: Housing and Homeless Branch (National Secretariat on Homelessness). Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) Initiative: Annual Report 2005-2006, Ottawa: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2006. For 2012: Homelessness Partnership Secretariat. 2012 Shelter Capacity Report, Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Shelters serving homeless individuals and families, Canada, 2006 and 2012 (number of known shelters)
20062012
8591,082

Of the 1,082 shelters identified as of November 2012, 407 or 37.6% were emergency shelters, providing temporary and short-term accommodation for homeless individuals and/or families. Such shelters typically also offer essential services such as food, clothing and counselling.

Transitional shelters offer services beyond basic needs and, while not permanent, generally provide a longer length of stay than emergency housing facilities. Transitional shelters numbered 233 and represented 21.5% of the total.

Violence against women (VAW) shelters provide temporary accomodation for women and women with children fleeing domestic abuse. VAW shelters numbered 442 and represented 40.8% of the total in 2012.


This Chart contains data for Regularly available shelter beds, Canada, 2006 and 2012. Information is available in table below 2012 = 27,824 2006 = 21,988 (number of beds) Regularly available shelter beds, Canada, 2006 and 2012

Source: For 2006: Housing and Homeless Branch (National Secretariat on Homelessness). Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS) Initiative: Annual Report 2005-2006, Ottawa: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2006. For 2012: Homelessness Partnership Secretariat. 2012 Shelter Capacity Report, Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Regularly available shelter beds, Canada, 2006 and 2012 (number of beds)
20062012
21,98827,824

As of November 2012, there were 27,824 regular beds available in shelters in Canada serving homeless individuals and families. In March 2006, there were 21,988 beds available.


Regions

In 2012, a large proportion of the beds in Canada's shelters (emergency, transitional and VAW) were located in Ontario (37.3%) where 38.7% of the population was located in 2012. The distribution of shelter beds tended to follow the general distribution of the population. However, Alberta's share of the shelter beds in 2012 (17.8%) was much larger than its share of the Canadian population (11.1%), while the share of shelter beds in the three northern territories (1.1%) was also much higher than their share of the Canadian population (0.3%).


This Chart contains data for Shelters beds, by region, 2012. Information is available in table below NU/NT/YU = 1.1 BC = 13.7 AB = 17.8 SK = 4.4 MB = 4.7 ON = 37.3 QC = 16.8 NS = 1.6 NB = 1.5 PE = 0.1 NL = 0.9 (percentage of all known shelter beds) Shelters beds, by region, 2012

Source: Homelessness Partnership Secretariat. 2012 Shelter Capacity Report, Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Shelters beds, by region, 2012 (percentage of all known shelter beds)
NLPENBNSQCONMBSKABBCNU/NT/YU
0.90.11.51.616.837.34.74.417.813.71.1

The average number of regular beds in shelters was 78 per 100,000 people in 2012. The rate was highest in Nunavut, Yukon and Northwest Territories, where there were 282 beds per 100,000 people. The number of regular beds per 100,000 people was also higher than average in Alberta (128), Saskatchewan (113), Manitoba (104) and British Columbia (83).


This Chart contains data for Shelters beds, by region, 2012. Information is available in table below NU/NT/YU = 282 BC = 83 AB = 128 SK = 113 MB = 104 ON = 77 QC = 58 NB = 56 NS = 46 PE = 27 NL = 47 CAN = 78 (number of known shelter beds per 100,000 people) Shelters beds, by region, 2012

Source: Homelessness Partnership Secretariat. 2012 Shelter Capacity Report, Ottawa: Employment and Social Development Canada, 2013.


Warning: This data table may contain very wide content. Horizontal scrolling may be necessary.

Shelters beds, by region, 2012 (number of known shelter beds per 100,000 people)
CANNLPENSNBQCONMBSKABBCNU/NT/YU
7847274656587710411312883282

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Date Modified:
2014-09-02