Plan Working to End Homelessness in Edmonton
January 22, 2013
Edmonton’s Homeless Commission welcomes today’s news that there are fewer homeless people living on Edmonton’s streets. Homeward Trust Edmonton’s bi-annual homeless count for 2012 counted 2,174 homeless Edmontonians – 247 fewer than in 2010.
“Since implementation of Edmonton’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness began in 2009 we have turned a corner,” says Anne Smith, Chair of the Homeless Commission. “After an uninterrupted 10-year growth in the number of homeless (1999 – 2008), we have witnessed a 30% drop in the number of homeless from 3,079 in 2008 to 2,174 in 2012. This shows that the Plan is effective. Thanks to the efforts of Homeward Trust, the agencies and their Housing First teams, people are becoming housed and receiving the supports they need to stay in their homes.”
Members of the Homeless Commission are particularly pleased with the latest decrease in the homeless count, given the recent economic realities: the rental market is tightening, and in-migration continues to be high as people come to Alberta hoping to find work. The reality for some can be unemployment and homelessness.
The count comes a third of the way through Edmonton’s 10-Year Plan to End Homelessness. “There are still more than 2,000 Edmontonians on city streets – many of whom have intensive needs such as addiction issues and mental illness,” says Smith. “We need to be able to offer them the right housing and supports.”
She also points out that the Housing First teams currently in place are operating at full capacity. “We need to redouble our efforts moving forward in order to ensure that every Edmontonian has a home. Today’s count is excellent news, but there is still a long way to go.”
For more information:
Edmonton Homeless Commission