The study analyzed the patterns of emergency shelter stays of single persons in three Canadian cities of different sizes (i.e., Toronto, Ottawa, and Guelph). Similar to findings of previous research conducted in large American cities in the early 1990s, cluster analyses defined three clusters with distinct patterns of shelter stays (temporary, episodic, and long stay). A temporary cluster (88–94 per cent) experienced a small number of homeless episodes for relatively short periods of time. An episodic cluster (3–11 per cent) experienced multiple homeless episodes also for short periods of time. A long-stay cluster (2–4 per cent) had a relatively small number of homeless episodes but for long periods of time. Despite their relatively small size, the episodic and long-stay clusters used a disproportionately large number of total shelter beds. The study extends findings from previous American research to a Canadian context and to small- and medium-size cities. Implications of the findings for program and policy development are discussed.
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Identifying the Patterns of Emergency Shelter Stays of Single Individuals in Canadian Cities of Different Sizes was published in Housing Studies Volume 28, Issue 6, pages 910-927 in 2013.