Beginning on April 21, 2018, 474 people experiencing homelessness were surveyed in District of Thunder Bay. While the number of surveys collected in 2018 show a large increase from the 289 surveyed in the 2016 PiT count, it should not be interpreted as an indication of an increased homeless population in the city of Thunder Bay; outreach for 2018 PiT survey participants included extra advertising and different methods to reach more people experiencing hidden homelessness, drawing on lessons learned from the previous PiT count. Those who reported experiencing homelessness in the 2018 PiT count account for 0.44% of the total population of the city of Thunder Bay (107,909 people as of the 2016 census).
As a new addition to this year’s PiT Count and Registry Week, the Government of Ontario introduced a provincial requirement for Service Managers to conduct an enumeration of people experiencing homelessness as part of its goal to end chronic homelessness by 2025. The data collected from the PiT Count and Registry Week will be used to understand the characteristics of individuals that make up the homeless population, improve services and programs for those individuals, and increase public awareness of homelessness. The information will also be used to evaluate progress toward ending homelessness, study demographic changes, prioritizing service needs, and to continue the dialogue about homelessness with organizations, government, and community members.