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Niagara Counts

Niagara's Point-in-Time Count scheduled to be held on Wednesday, March 25 will be postponed due to risks associated with COVID-19. All events and meetings related to Niagara Counts 2020 are cancelled. We're currently reviewing an alternate date in 2020. We deeply appreciate your passion and commitment to participating in Niagara Counts. Our highest priority is the health and well-being of our neighbours experiencing homelessness and the staff and volunteers who provide them with support. We thank you for your patience as we continue to plan and respond to COVID-19.

Niagara Counts 2020 is part of a national strategy to help determine the extent and nature of homelessness.

Over 60 communities across Canada will be conducting Point-in-Time Counts providing a snapshot of homelessness at a given time. This involves counting and surveying those in our community who experience:

  • Absolute homelessness (those living outside or in emergency shelters)
  • Hidden homelessness (those staying with others or "couch surfing")

The count will help us better understand who is homeless and what their needs are.

Point-in-Time Count

Sheltered and Street Count: Wednesday, March 25 from 8 to 11 p.m.

Niagara Counts depends on community agencies and trained volunteers to conduct the Count. It will be held in various places across Niagara where individuals who are homeless may be, including:

  • Emergency shelters (includes extreme weather, violence against women, hotel / motel beds used instead of shelter beds)
  • Transitional housing (temporary housing arrangement that allows for a longer stay than emergency shelters)
  • Streets and alleys
  • Parks and other public locations
  • Transit stations
  • Abandoned buildings
  • Vehicles
  • Ravines and other outdoor locations

Service Counts and Magnet Events: Wednesday, March 25 and Thursday, March 26 at various times

Service counts take place where existing services are offered. For example, meal programs and drop-in centres.

Magnet events are special events organized to encourage participation from people who are experiencing homelessness. For example, a pizza party with free haircuts available.

Count Contingency Date: April 8

If the Count is postponed due to unforeseen circumstances, the Count will take place on April 8. If the date changes, volunteers will be notified as soon as possible.

Goals of the Count

A successful Count will allow our community to:

  • Identify the minimum number of absolute homeless individuals in our community at a given point in time
  • Identify the characteristics and needs of the absolute and hidden homeless
  • Provide baseline data so we can measure our progress towards ending homelessness
  • Increase public awareness about homelessness
  • Enhance our ability to test the effectiveness of programs and services aimed at ending homelessness
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