Shelter Capacity Report 2017

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

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Introduction

The Shelter Capacity Report is a descriptive account of capacity statistics for emergency homeless shelters in Canada. The number of emergency shelter facilities and the number of permanent beds are reported for each province and territory, as well as by community. In addition, brief overviews of Transitional Housing facilities and Violence Against Women shelters are provided in the appendices.

This report is provided annually by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS). The information in this report was obtained from the National Service Provider List (NSPL), a comprehensive listing of homeless shelters in Canada. This list is maintained by ESDC as part of the National Homelessness Information System (NHIS), a data development initiative that focuses on the collection and analysis of homeless shelter data in Canada.

Types of shelters

Emergency shelters

Facilities that provide temporary, short-term accommodation for homeless individuals and families. This may or may not include other services such as food, clothing or counselling.

Transitional housing

Facilities that provide temporary shelter, but can be differentiated from emergency shelters by the longer length of stay and greater intensity of support services offered to clients. Transitional housing is an intermediate step between emergency shelter and permanent housing. Support services help clients gain stability and self-sufficiency to maintain permanent housing. Stays are typically between 3 months and 3 years.

Violence against women shelters

Facilities that provide temporary shelter to single women or women with children fleeing domestic abuse. They may function in either a crisis capacity or as transitional or second-stage housing.

Emergency shelters and transitional housing are further characterized according to the clients they serve:

  • Men’s shelters provide services to adult males. Some also accept youth.
  • Women’s shelters provide services to adult females. Some also accept youth.
  • General shelters provide services to adult males and females. Some also accept youth.
  • Youth shelters provide services to youth. Shelters have varying definitions of youth, often ranging from 12 to 29 years of age.
  • Family shelters provide services to families and adults with dependents. Some also accept single adult women without dependents.

Shelter capacity

Figure 1: Total number of emergency shelters and permanent shelter beds in Canada.
Total number of emergency shelters and permanent shelter beds in Canada.
Figure 1 - Text version

There are 407 emergency shelters and 15,623 permanent shelter beds in Canada.

These numbers have remained relatively stable over the past 5 years.

Emergency shelter beds by clientele served

Figure 2: Breakdown of emergency shelter beds in Canada by clientele served.
Breakdown of emergency shelter beds in Canada by clientele served.
Figure 2 - Text version
  • General 36%
  • Men’s 30%
  • Women’s 13%
  • Youth 10%
  • Family 11%
  • 36% of shelter beds in Canada are found in general shelters serving both men and women
  • Men’s shelters account for a greater percentage of all shelter beds (30%) compared to women’s shelters (13%)
  • Family shelters account for 11% of all shelter beds
  • Shelters that exclusively serve youth tend to be smaller in size. Although they make up almost a quarter of all shelters, they account only for 10% of all emergency shelter beds

Community

The majority of emergency shelter beds (82%) are found in large cities. While smaller communities have fewer shelter beds, they still account for nearly half (38%) of all emergency shelters.

The average number of beds is 18 per shelter in small communities versus 51 in large communities.

Figure 3: Comparison of the ratio of emergency shelters and permanent shelter beds between large and small communities in Canada.
Comparison of the ratio of emergency shelters and permanent shelter beds between large and small communities in Canada.
Figure 3 - Text version
  • In Canada, 38% of emergency shelters are found in small communities with a population of less than 300,000
  • In Canada, 62% of emergency shelters are found in large communities with a population of 300,000 or more
  • In Canada, 18% of permanent shelter beds are found in small communities with a population of less than 300,000
  • In Canada, 82% of permanent shelter beds are found in large communities with a population of 300,000 or more

National summary: Emergency shelters (2017)*

Emergency shelters and shelter beds by year
Province/Territory 2017 2016 2015
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Newfoundland and Labrador 6 61 5 53 5 53
Nova Scotia 9 217 8 208 7 193
New Brunswick 9 148 9 150 9 150
Prince Edward Island 1 7 1 7 1 7
Québec 75 1,934 74 1,948 79 1,995
Ontario 149 6,764 147 6,622 145 6,715
Manitoba 15 661 15 661 15 661
Saskatchewan 21 443 21 439 21 459
Alberta 36 3,182 36 3,182 36 3,182
British Columbia 77 2,069 76 2,019 72 1,859
Yukon 3 27 3 27 3 20
Northwest Territories 3 76 4 100 4 100
Nunavut 2 34 2 34 2 34
Canada 407 15,623 401 15,450 399 15,428

*Changes in the reported number of shelters and beds during the years 2015 to 2017 may reflect updated information rather than actual changes in national shelter capacity.

Emergency shelters by clientele served (2017)

Emergency shelters and shelter beds by clientele
Province/Territory General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Newfoundland and Labrador 3 32 0 0 0 0 2 17 1 12 6 61
Nova Scotia 1 15 3 135 3 43 2 24 0 0 9 217
New Brunswick 3 68 2 45 2 20 2 15 0 0 9 148
Prince Edward Island 0 0 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7
Québec 26 431 9 891 12 231 27 327 1 54 75 1,934
Ontario 26 850 40 2,638 27 1,079 37 773 20 1,424 150 6,764
Manitoba 10 534 0 0 0 0 2 24 3 103 15 661
Saskatchewan 3 50 5 146 10 236 3 11 0 0 21 443
Alberta 17 2,416 4 389 4 134 10 183 1 60 36 3,182
British Columbia 41 1,243 10 356 11 295 12 140 3 35 77 2,069
Yukon 1 14 0 0 1 2 1 11 0 0 3 27
Northwest Territories 0 0 1 35 1 31 1 10 0 0 3 76
Nunavut 0 0 1 22 1 12 0 0 0 0 2 34
Canada 132 5,653 76 4,664 72 2,083 99 1,535 29 1,688 407 15,623

Emergency shelters and shelter beds by community (2017)

Newfoundland and Labrador

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Happy Valley – Goose Bay 1 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8
St. John’s 2 24 0 0 0 0 2 17 1 12 5 53
Total 2 24 0 0 0 0 2 17 1 12 5 53

Nova Scotia

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Halifax 0 0 2 120 2 36 1 20 0 0 5 176
New Glasgow 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 1 4
Sydney 0 0 1 15 1 7 0 0 0 0 2 22
Truro 1 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 15
Total 1 15 3 135 3 43 2 24 0 0 9 217

New Brunswick

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Bathurst 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6
Fredericton 0 0 1 25 1 10 0 0 0 0 2 35
Miramichi 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 0 0 1 5
Moncton 2 62 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 62
Saint John 0 0 1 20 1 10 1 10 0 0 3 40
Total 3 68 2 45 2 20 2 15 0 0 9 148

Prince Edward Island

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Charlottetown 0 0 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7
Total 0 0 1 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 7

Quebec

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Amos 1 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8
Baie-Comeau 0 0 1 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 17
Drummondville 1 9 0 0 0 0 1 9 0 0 2 18
Fermont 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 0 0 1 6
Gatineau 1 55 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 2 61
Granby 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20 0 0 1 20
Grand-Mère 1 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 15
Ham-Sud 1 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 17
Joliette 1 6 0 0 0 0 2 21 0 0 3 27
Mont-Laurier 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9
Montréal 5 96 6 832 9 205 17 229 1 54 38 1,416
Québec City 3 52 1 39 1 12 2 14 0 0 7 117
Rouyn-Noranda 1 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 15
Saguenay 2 45 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 48
St-Eugène-de-Guigues 1 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 14
Sherbrooke 1 22 0 0 1 8 1 8 0 0 3 38
St-Georges 2 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 25
Thetford Mines 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9
Trois-Rivières 1 8 0 0 0 0 1 11 0 0 2 19
Valleyfield 2 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 26
Victoriaville 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 0 0 1 9
Total 26 431 9 891 12 231 27 327 1 54 75 1,934

Ontario

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Barrie-Simcoe 1 20 1 20 0 0 1 15 0 0 3 55
Brantford 1 36 1 38 0 0 1 20 0 0 3 94
Cochrane 0 0 1 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 10
Dufferin region 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20 0 0 1 20
Durham region 0 0 1 40 1 45 1 13 1 20 4 118
Guelph 0 0 1 18 1 14 1 16 2 35 5 83
Halton region 2 42 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20 3 62
Hamilton 0 0 3 215 2 35 1 20 1 103 7 373
Hunstville 0 0 1 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8
Jarvis 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 0 1 8
Kenora 1 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 25
Kingston 2 39 1 18 2 24 1 15 0 0 6 96
Lindsay 1 19 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 19
London 1 45 2 255 1 31 0 0 1 41 5 372
Niagara region 2 61 1 20 1 20 2 30 1 16 7 147
Nippissing/North Bay 1 19 0 0 1 10 0 0 0 0 2 29
Ottawa 1 12 3 431 2 109 2 24 3 554 11 1,130
Peel region 1 119 1 60 0 0 2 59 1 225 5 463
Peterborough 0 0 1 40 1 10 1 15 1 15 4 80
Red Lake 1 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 22
Sarnia 1 25 1 12 0 0 1 9 1 8 4 54
Sault Ste. Marie 0 0 1 24 1 7 1 10 1 7 4 48
Sioux Lookout 2 34 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 34
Stratford 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 14 0 0 1 14
Sudbury 0 0 1 36 0 0 1 16 1 20 3 72
Thunder Bay 1 42 2 34 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 76
Timmins 1 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 28
Toronto 3 197 14 1,235 12 735 10 374 3 240 42 2,781
Waterloo region 1 40 1 39 0 0 4 45 1 60 7 184
Windsor 2 25 1 56 1 11 1 10 0 0 5 102
York region 0 0 1 29 1 28 3 40 1 60 6 157
Total 26 850 40 2,638 27 1,079 37 773 20 1,424 150 6,764

Manitoba

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Brandon 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9 2 12
Dauphin 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6
Flin Flon 1 26 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 26
Swan River 1 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 10
The Pas 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 34 1 34
Thompson 1 24 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 24
Winnipeg 5 465 0 0 0 0 2 24 1 60 8 549
Total 10 534 0 0 0 0 2 24 3 103 15 661

Saskatchewan

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Moose Jaw 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 12
North Battleford 1 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 16
Prince Albert 1 22 0 0 2 58 0 0 0 0 3 80
Regina 0 0 2 64 3 88 0 0 0 0 5 152
Saskatoon 0 0 3 82 5 90 3 11 0 0 11 183
Total 3 50 5 146 10 236 3 11 0 0 21 443

Alberta

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Calgary 5 1,746 1 80 2 18 3 45 1 60 12 1,949
Edmonton 4 307 1 249 2 116 2 88 0 0 9 760
Grand Prairie 1 92 0 0 0 0 1 14 0 0 2 106
High Level 1 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20
Lethbridge 1 80 0 0 0 0 1 14 0 0 2 94
Lloydminster 0 0 1 28 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 28
Medicine Hat 1 30 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 2 36
Red Deer 2 61 0 0 0 0 1 8 0 0 3 69
Wood Buffalo 2 80 1 32 0 0 1 8 0 0 4 120
Total 17 2,416 4 389 4 134 10 183 1 60 36 3,182

British Columbia

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Abbotsford 1 20 0 0 0 0 1 14 0 0 2 34
Campbell River 1 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 22
Chetwynd 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 3
Chilliwack 1 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 11
Courtenay 1 14 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 14
Dawson Creek 1 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8
Duncan 1 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 30
Fort Nelson 1 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 6
Fort St. John 1 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20
Kamloops 1 35 0 0 0 0 1 6 0 0 2 41
Kelowna 1 60 0 0 1 20 1 10 0 0 3 90
Mission 1 20 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 20
Nanaimo 0 0 1 23 1 10 0 0 0 0 2 33
Nelson 1 17 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 17
Penticton 1 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 11
Port Alberni 1 12 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 12
Prince George 1 30 1 21 1 30 1 10 0 0 4 91
Prince Rupert 1 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 10
Quesnel 1 10 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 10
Smithers 1 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 9
Squamish 1 15 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 15
Terrace 1 16 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 16
Vancouver 16 675 7 291 7 200 7 90 2 30 39 1,286
Vernon 1 25 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 25
Victoria 2 134 1 21 1 25 1 10 1 5 6 195
Williams Lake 1 30 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 30
Total 41 1,243 10 356 11 295 12 140 3 35 77 2,069

Yukon

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Dawson City 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 1 2
Whitehorse 1 14 0 0 0 0 1 11 0 0 2 25
Total 1 14 0 0 1 2 1 11 0 0 3 27

Northwest Territories

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Yellowknife 0 0 1 35 1 31 1 10 0 0 3 76
Total 0 0 1 35 1 31 1 10 0 0 3 76

Nunavut

Community General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Iqaluit 0 0 1 22 1 12 0 0 0 0 2 34
Total 0 0 1 22 1 12 0 0 0 0 2 34

Appendix A: Transitional housing by clientele served (2017)

Transitional housing emergency shelters and shelter beds by clientele served
Province/Territory General Men’s Women’s Youth Family Total
Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds Shelters Beds
Newfoundland and Labrador 2 74 1 2 2 12 2 25 0 0 7 113
Nova Scotia 0 0 1 19 2 32 2 15 0 0 5 66
New Brunswick 1 4 0 0 1 12 1 8 0 0 3 24
Prince Edward Island 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Québec 26 607 22 525 12 210 30 362 5 79 95 1,783
Ontario 19 747 17 506 6 131 23 299 4 506 69 2,189
Manitoba 7 159 3 75 0 0 2 10 2 42 14 286
Saskatchewan 3 71 6 103 4 48 13 170 0 0 26 392
Alberta 12 525 3 315 6 182 8 80 2 101 31 1,203
British Columbia 20 627 5 82 4 50 5 95 0 0 34 854
Yukon 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Northwest Territories 0 0 1 32 0 0 0 0 1 44 2 76
Nunavut 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 90 2,814 59 1,659 37 677 86 1,064 14 772 286 6,986

Appendix B: Violence against women shelters

Violence against women shelters and shelter beds
Province/Territory Shelters Beds
Newfoundland and Labrador 14 146
Nova Scotia 16 224
New Brunswick 16 230
Prince Edward Island 3 45
Québec 94 1,118
Ontario 120 2,311
Manitoba 20 387
Saskatchewan 18 301
Alberta 43 930
British Columbia 95 1,004
Yukon 5 37
Northwest Territories 5 44
Nunavut 5 34
Canada 454 6,811
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