Homelessness in Winnipeg Fact Sheet


  • The City of Winnipeg is made up of approximately 633,451 people and is the 7th largest city in Canada. The metro-Winnipeg area is the 8th largest metropolitan area in Canada

Homelessness in Winnipeg

  • It is estimated that there are about 135,000 people at risk of becoming homeless, 7600 `hidden' homeless, 1,915 short-term or crisis sheltered people and 350 living on the streets
  • A night count on June 22, 2005 found 125 people using emergency shelters (this excludes those on the street and hidden). Of those counted, 81% were male and 62% identified as Aboriginal
  • Aboriginal peoples are at much higher risk of homelessness due to compounding factors such as challenges of rural to urban migration, inadequate housing conditions on-reserve, inability to secure adequate housing, lack of culturally appropriate supports to reduce the risk of housing instability2
  • The City of Winnipeg has the largest Aboriginal identity population of all Canadian cities and there is a disproportionately high number of Aboriginal people represented in Winnipeg's homeless population. While 8.4% of the population of Winnipeg identified themselves as Aboriginal in 2001, estimates suggest that 60 - 70 % of the homeless population in Winnipeg was Aboriginal
  • Winnipeg's homeless population is especially visible in the core area of the city. Many individuals turn to shelters, rooming houses and hotels for temporary housing. Anecdotal research has shown that the homeless population is growing.2
  • Studies of homeless youth in Winnipeg showed mental health problems are prevalent, and addictions are common. 40% reported experiencing physical abuse in the year prior to leaving home and 20% of girls and 8% of boys reported sexual abuse. Over half reported suicidal thoughts

Winnipeg Context

  • Recently, governments, business, housing, health and social service providers have started working together to address issues related to homeless population.
  • Many people experiencing poverty and homelessness receive social assistance, the rates can be insufficient. The Manitoba Employment and Income Assistance (EIA, or “Welfare”) provides $243/month for rent expenses for one person.
  • Vacancy rate for bachelors in the city is 0.5% and they cost on average $455/ month


Publication Date: 
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada