Everyone Counts: Coordinated Point-in-Time Counts in Canada

Communities across the country will be participating in Everyone Counts 2020: the third Coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness in Canada. Counts will take place between March 1 and April 30, 2020. The Point-in-Time Count provides a community-wide measure of homelessness, identifying service needs and informing plans to prevent and reduce homelessness. This information can support communities as they move towards coordinated systems and implement Coordinated Access.

Canadian coordinated homeless counts

We support coordinated homeless counts in communities across the country. Communities use a common Point-in-Time count approach, which was developed in consultation with communities that have experience using this method.

Everyone Counts 2020 will take place between March 1 and April 30, 2020. An updated Guide, including the standards of participation, the common methodology and guidance on implementing a count, is expected to be published in fall 2019. A previous version of the Guide, used in 2018, is available: Everyone Counts - A Guide to Point-in-Time Counts in Canada – 2nd Edition.

Communities can also implement a joint Point-in-Time count and Registry Week, which helps the community to create a by-name list of individuals experiencing homelessness. This list is a key component of a Coordinated Access System, and can be used to link individuals to housing supports.

The first Coordinated PiT Count took place in 2016, with 32 communities participating. It marked the first time communities across the country used a common methodology to improve the understanding of homelessness at a local and national level. The second Coordinated PiT Count followed in 2018 with 61 participating communities. It strengthened the focus on engaging homeless youth and Indigenous Peoples.

Find more information on the findings from previous counts:

The Point-in-Time count method

A Point-in-Time Count is a method used to measure sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. It aims to enumerate individuals in a community who are, at a given time, staying in shelters or "sleeping rough" (for example, on the street, in parks), providing a "snapshot" of homelessness in a community. Point-in-Time counts also include a survey that provide communities with information on the characteristics of their homeless population (for example, age, gender, Veteran status, Indigenous identity). This information can be used by communities to direct resources to areas of greatest need, and to connect individuals with specific backgrounds to targeted supports to help them achieve stable housing. When completed over subsequent years, it can also be used to track changes in the homeless population over time and measure progress in reducing it.

Core elements of the method have been standardized, leaving flexibility for communities to build on the approach and adapt it to their local context.

Community participation and supports

Some communities will be conducting a Point-in-Time Count as part of the Reaching Home program. However, any community is invited to participate. A package of supports is available to facilitate the implementation of the count. These supports include standard survey questions, planning and communication tools, and surveyor training tools:

For information on Point-in-time Counts, contact hpsr@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.

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