cgy-homeless-bus

Homeless people line up for a bus that will take them to an emergency shelter during a Calgary cold snap in January. ((CBC))

More than 4,000 people in Calgary do not have a home, including almost 200 families with one or more children, according to a new city survey.

The city's bi-annual count of its homeless population, conducted on May 14, found that 4,060 people were homeless, an increase of 18 per cent over 2006.

The number of homeless families jumped by 36 per cent to 197. Of those, 190 families included one or more child.

Of those believed to be homeless, the survey found:

  • 79 per cent were staying in emergency shelters or transitional housing.
  • 78 per cent were male.
  • 72 per cent were between the ages of 25 and 64.

The study is done every two years in May and calculates people staying in emergency shelters, transitional housing or receiving services on the night of the count.

This year, the city did not send enumerators out for the count and instead relied on data from shelters and community groups.

The research has been used since 1992 to help decision makers plan homelessness and affordable housing programs, said Chris Branch, the city's director of community and neighbourhood services.