In February 2017, the Government of Canada announced Everyone Counts 2018, the second HPS Coordinated Pointin-Time Count, to be held between March and April 2018. This Count offers a snapshot of homelessness in each city. Participating communities used a common set of survey questions to improve the understanding of homelessness across Canada.
7 Cities already coordinates biennial Point-in-Time Counts in order to provide a current snapshot of the homeless population in Alberta and to enable examination of how homelessness might change over time. The increasing alignment drives better consistency of data and limited comparability that should improve over time. Ultimately, the information gained from Alberta’s coordinated Point-in-Time Count helps to inform solutions to support the goal of ending homelessness in communities.
Communities in Alberta conducted the count on April 11, 2018: the third provincially-coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness to date, and the first nationally-coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness using the national methodology. Implementation was coordinated locally by a lead organization in each of the seven largest communities.
The information produced during the Point-in-Time Count is utilized to complement administrative data from the provincial and local Homeless Management Information Systems, information from service providers, and research and evaluation projects to form a more complete picture of homelessness in a given community. In isolation, a Pointin-Time Count is not intended to produce an exact number of people experiencing homelessness as not everyone will be found, and some of those who are approached are not willing to participate. This emphasizes the need for ongoing system data particularly from corrections and health systems to inform planning.