This article describes the number of people who are homeless and absolutely homeless in North Bay, Ontario, Canada. The total homeless population (high-risk and absolutely homeless) identified in the study (n=513) included 150 infants, children and adolescents under age 15. The majority of homeless people were adults in their 20s, 30s, or 40s. Indigenous people were greatly over-represented among the homeless population as 26% of homeless people were Indigenous. While the relative importance of self-reported reasons for homelessness differed somewhat for various subgroups, the central reasons were the same: taken together, the structural and systemic problems of unemployment, problems with social assistance, and the lack of affordable housing accounted for the largest proportion of homelessness.
Absolutely homeless people made up approximately a third (30%) of the homeless people. Half (50%) were women. Women, children and youth comprised 65% of this population. Francophones were under-represented in the homeless population in comparison to their numbers in the general population (9% of absolutely homeless people vs. 14% of the total population of North Bay). Indigenous people were greatly over-represented among absolutely homeless people. They comprised a third of the absolutely homeless population but 8% of the total population in North Bay.