Report presents a point-in-time registry of homelessness in Barrie and Simcoe County

Report shows that 697 people were “counted experiencing homelessness,” with
305 being located in Barrie.

Members of the Simcoe County Alliance to End Homelessness plan to present the group’s new report tonight (Monday) at city council, detailing the homeless situation in Barrie and around the county.
The 2018 Simcoe County Homeless Enumeration Report represents a point-in-time registry and count (April 24-26, 2018) that highlights the homeless situation in the county at that particular time.
It shows that 697 people were “counted experiencing homelessness,” with the rate of homelessness being 14 per every 10,000 county residents. Of the total, 305 were located in Barrie, 128 in Midland, 97 in Orillia, 24 in Collingwood, 24 in Alliston, 17 in Penetanguishene, nine in Wasaga Beach, and 12 in other county areas.
Shelter included provisional accommodation, 45 per cent; emergency shelter, 42 per cent; no shelter, 12 per cent; unknown, eight per cent. There was a stated requirement for 435 housing units.
The report was prepared by Simcoe County, in partnership with the alliance and others.
The top reasons for being homeless are: addiction/substance abuse at 21 per cent; inability to pay rent or mortgage at 20 per cent; conflict with spouse/partner at 16 per cent; unsafe housing conditions at 15 per cent.
Of those experiencing homelessness, 28 per cent had nowhere to live after being discharged from a correctional facility or hospital, while 24 per cent said residing in foster care had been an experience.
More than half (57 per cent) of those surveyed were deemed to be chronically homeless, while 21 per cent experienced homelessness episodically. Physical health issues were reported by 70 per cent of respondents, while 35 per cent noted mental health issues, and 34 per cent addiction issues.
Youth aged 16-24 accounted for 16 per cent of the homeless population, while 29 per cent were Indigenous Peoples.
The report presents a series of next steps:
• Educate city councils and decision makers
• Increase housing options for people experiencing homelessness
• Increase primary care, mental health and addiction services, and other supports for street involved and vulnerable populations
• Collaborate with other key sector partners to discharge people directly into housing with supports.

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