The third study of homelessness in Sudbury has confirmed many of the earlier findings about the extent and nature of homelessness in this community:
• a substantial proportion of those who are homeless were women (approximately 40%);
• the homeless population included people in the full range of age groups from infancy to old age;
• while the majority of homeless people were single/unattached people, about a fifth were married or in common-law relationships;
• Aboriginal people were greatly over-represented in the homeless population;
• about half of homeless people were not receiving any form of financial assistance from government programs;
• the primary causes of homelessness, according to the homeless people, were problems with social assistance and unemployment; and
• about a third of homeless people were reported to be absolutely without housing.
The findings of the current study reinforce the view that the homeless population comprises multiple groups with differing needs. This population is fluid, with particular individuals moving into and out of homelessness at any particular point in time. Those who become housed are replaced by others who become homeless. People living on very low incomes, with little money left over after they have payed the rent, are precariously housed and are vulnerable to becoming homeless due to circumstances such as illness, family violence, traumatic life events such as an illness, death in the family, or sudden loss of income (e.g. a late cheque or loss of employment).