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Frequently Asked Questions on Homeless Enumeration

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is homeless enumeration? 

Homeless enumeration is measuring the number of people who are experiencing homelessness at a point in time or over a specific period of time.  In practice, homeless enumeration involves collecting information about people experiencing homelessness such as their age, duration of and reasons for homelessness.  

Why is the government requiring Service Managers to enumerate their homeless population? 

Enumeration data will provide important information about the scope of homelessness in communities across Ontario and the characteristics of this population.

This information will be used to improve provincial programs and policies, as well as local service system planning, to support government’s long-term goal of ending homelessness and our goal of ending chronic homelessness by 2025.  

How will enumeration data be used?

Enumeration data will help the government better understand the scope and nature of homelessness in Ontario, so that we can better prevent, reduce and end it.  Data will be used to improve provincial programs and policies, and will help inform local service planning.  

Communities that have conducted enumeration in Ontario, as well as in other jurisdictions, have used the data to identify areas of priority and unmet service need and to describe the extent and nature of homelessness in their communities.  Depending upon the enumeration method selected, the information collected can help to identify people with the greatest need for assistance.  The level of homelessness, in general or among particular priority groups, can also be used to assess whether initiatives implemented to reduce homelessness are having their intended impacts.

When will Service Managers be required to enumerate?

All Service Managers are required to conduct an enumeration of people experiencing homelessness in their communities starting in 2018 and then every two years after.  Service Managers are required to conduct enumeration during the months of March, April, and May.  

Which methods can Service Managers use to enumerate their communities?

Service Managers are required to use one or a combination of three enumeration methods to conduct homeless enumeration. These methods are Point-in-Time Count, Registry Week, or Period Prevalence Count.

Will funding be provided for homeless enumeration?

Service Managers can use a portion of their funding allocation under the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) to assist with enumeration costs. Beginning April 1, 2017, the government has increased the ceiling for program administration under the CHPI to 15 per cent for the purposes of enumeration only. As such, Service Managers that choose to use CHPI funding for homeless enumeration can use up to 15 per cent of their total CHPI allocation for program administration and enumeration costs combined.

For more information on the use of CHPI funding for homeless enumeration, please refer to the Community Homelessness Prevention Initiative (CHPI) Program Guidelines