Watch above: After a one day count conducted by volunteers, local organizations have a better understanding of homelessness in Saskatoon. As Wendy Winiewski reports, some initiatives are working but the number of people without a permanent residence continues to grow.
SASKATOON – Four-hundred-and-fifty people within Saskatoon identify as homeless, according to a physical, point-in-time count of homeless individuals and families. On June 22, volunteers surveyed Saskatoon counting the homeless and tallying numbers.
Results were released Wednesday.
“We have 405 adults and 45 children, so 450 in all,” said Isobel Findlay with the Community-University Institute for Social Research (CUISR).
READ MORE: A study of homelessness in Saskatoon
The CUISR is the organization in charge of data collection and results.
The last count took place in 2012. At that time 379 people identified as homeless, but the comparison is not exact. In 2012, 19 areas were surveyed while in 2015, 27 areas were surveyed including downtown, core neighbourhoods, near the South Saskatchewan River and along 8th Street.
Officials say 450 homeless people is likely an underestimation.
“Partly because of the mobility and hiddenness of homelessness and partly because of resources, you can only go so many places at so many times in one day,” said Findlay.
Of adults identifying as homeless, nine per cent are staying outside, 80 per cent are in a shelter, two per cent are in hotels, eight per cent are staying with friends and one per cent listed their status as “other.”
Ten per cent of Saskatoon’s homeless are children, one per cent are 18 years of age, 11 per cent are 19 to 25 years old, 45 per cent are 26 to 49 years old, 28 per cent are 50 and older. Five per cent of those surveyed did not list their age.
Sixty-two per cent of Saskatoon’s homeless are male.
Forty-five per cent of Saskatoon’s homeless are aboriginal.