Number of people accessing homeless shelters on the rise across P.E.I.

The number of people accessing homeless shelters across the province is on the rise, according to figures released by the P.E.I. Community Advisory Board on Homelessness.

While average length of stay in a shelter is down, the number of people accessing shelters is up

Housing availability and rent increases also worry the Homeless Partnering Strategy and affiliated groups. (Dillon Hodgin/CBC)

The number of people accessing homeless shelters across the province is on the rise, according to figures released by the P.E.I. Community Advisory Board on Homelessness.

The Community Advisory Board (CAB) and Rural Advisory Board, under the federal government's Homelessness Partnering Strategy, released their statistics Wednesday.

According to the figures, the number of women accessing beds went up slightly but the largest leap was among homeless men — 228 men accessed a shelter in 2016 compared to 122 the year before.

Statistics on Homelessness in P.E.I., 2013-2016
Homelessness Indicators2013201420152016
Number of shelter beds on P.E.I.39393945
Number of women accessing shelters67808588
Number of men accessing shelters11583122228
Average stay in shelter (days)2214.213.210.1

The average length of stay in shelter beds was down, with individuals spending 10.1 days using a bed on average in 2016 compared to 22 days in 2013.

Number of available beds 

The total number of beds available went up to 45 in 2016, with each bed being used just over 100 times per year on average.

That's higher than the 2015 figure that shows each shelter bed was used roughly 73 times per year.

Additionally, urban housing continues to worry CAB as the number of available apartments continues to decline, according to their figures.

Overall apartment vacancy in Summerside and Charlottetown fell in 2016, dropping to 2.1 per cent of units available to rent. Average rent also increased for one- and two-bedroom apartments in both urban centres.

This, combined with a growing population across the province, is creating a mismatch with the current need for housing, said the release.