Nearly 200 people in Windsor-Essex are living on the street, report says
Those experiencing homelessness, 22 per cent, identified as indigenous
The City of Windsor has released a preliminary report outlining the amount of homelessness in the city and county.
Results show at least 197 people are homeless in Windsor-Essex on any given night, which is down two per cent from 2016 numbers.
Out of those people, 68 per cent of people who are homeless identify as male, and 53 per cent of people living on the streets are between the ages of 25 and 49 years old.
As well, 42 per cent of people experiencing homelessness reported having mental health issues.
And 22 per cent of those experiencing homelessness identified as indigenous, which is down from 29 per cent in 2016.
"It's important for the community to know that this type of data, data collection and information gathering is critical for our community because once we get that data we analyze it, we meet with community partners and we take action," said Jelena Payne, the commissioner of Community Development and Health Services for the City of Windsor.
Payne says the city has housed almost 200 people since 2016, but affordable and safe housing still remains one of the largest stumbling blocks for people looking to get back on their feet.
Angela Yakonich is with Windsor Homes Coalition Inc. She was part of the 200 trained volunteers who were deployed throughout the city and county to count and survey the areas homeless population earlier this year.
The Point-in-Time Count captures a "snapshot" of homelessness in Windsor Essex on a single night. The goal is to collect the data and use it towards an initiative to end chronic homelessness by 2020.
"We start attaching the most appropriate services to people at this time so we can start getting them some services in our community," said Yakonich, who says one of the largest issues for the homeless is not being able to navigate the system.
A final report from the 2018 Point-in-Time Count will be released later this summer.