Homelessness up 44 percent in Quebec since 2018 – Montreal

The number of homeless people in Quebec has increased by 44 percent since 2018, according to a report from the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec commissioned by the province’s Ministry of Health and Social Services.

“We can estimate, based on available data, an increase of 2,523 people experiencing visible homelessness, an increase of 44%,” the report said.

The report also indicates that homelessness has increased in all regions of the province, but to different extents.

More than 60 percent of homeless people are found in Montreal.

To collect data, the institute deployed hundreds of street workers and volunteers on the night of October 11, 2022, in 13 regions of Quebec.

The report estimates that 10,000 people were homeless at the time of the survey.

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A shortage of affordable housing and COVID-19 are the main causes identified in the report for the increase in homelessness.

The methodology has also improved since 2018.

The regions of Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Côte-Nord as well as the municipalities of Gatineau, Trois-Rivières, Drummondville and Saint-Jérôme were added to the survey.

Homelessness affects Indigenous people more strongly, particularly in Montreal and in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Côte-Nord regions, the survey reveals.

The report indicates that Indigenous people experiencing homelessness are particularly present in outdoor settings and emergency accommodation resources, and less in transitional housing and therapy centers.

According to the report, a greater proportion of Indigenous people spent the entire year experiencing homelessness.

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Indigenous people are also twice as likely to “report that racism is linked to losing their last home.”

“Faced with these findings, we must ask ourselves questions about the structural, historical and social issues surrounding Indigenous homelessness and other a*sociated issues,” the report states. “It must be admitted that strategies aimed at preventing both the transition to homelessness and the complexity of the problems encountered are either insufficient, non-existent, or ineffective.”

Homelessness is also over-represented among people who have been placed in youth protection in the past, people of s****l and gender diversity, and people who have been evicted from their housing.

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