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

From: Employment and Social Development Canada

Every few years, communities across the country participate in Point-in-Time (PiT) Counts of homelessness in Canada. The PiT counts take place between March 1 and April 30.

The PiT Count provides a community-wide measure of homelessness that:

  • identifies service needs
  • informs plans to prevent and reduce homelessness.

This information can support those as they move towards coordinated systems and put in place Coordinated Access.

Canadian coordinated homeless counts

We work with communities and other experts to develop a common approach for each PiT count that can be found in the Standards for participation .

Communities can also do a joint PiT count and registry week. This helps them to create a by-name list of individuals experiencing homelessness.

A by-name list is a key component of a Coordinated Access System. Communities can use the results to link individuals to housing supports.

Community participation and support

We invite any community to take part in the PiT Count. Designated communities conduct a PiT Count as part of the Reaching Home program.

Supports available to conduct a PiT Count:

Method

A PiT Count is a method used to measure sheltered and unsheltered homelessness.

Communities do a PiT count to :

  • count individuals and families in a community who are, at a given time staying in shelters or "sleeping rough"
  • understand the characteristics of homelessness in the community

Communities use this information to:

  • direct resources to areas of greatest need
  • connect individuals and families with specific backgrounds with supports to help them with stable housing

This method has consistent core elements. This leaves flexibility for communities to build and adapt the method to their local context.

Past coordinated PiT counts

When completed over multiple years, PiT Counts track changes in the homeless population. They can then measure progress in reducing it.

Find more information on the findings from previous counts:

Contact us

For information on Point-in-time Counts

Email: hpsr@hrsdc-rhdcc.gc.ca.

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