Saskatoon’s Homeless Population 2012: A Research Report

The Community-University Institute for Social Research (CUISR) in collaboration with the United Way of Saskatoon and Area conducted an enumeration of Saskatoon’s homeless population on September 24, 2012. A previous count conducted by CUISR in 2008 focused on absolute and sheltered homeless individuals and used the same “snap shot” approach to collect the data, which represents homelessness for the city on a given day. The purpose of the count was two-fold: first, to develop an estimate of the number of homeless persons in Saskatoon; and, second, to better understand the nature of homelessness in the city, the current pattern of service use, and the particular barriers to locating permanent residences faced by individuals experiencing homelessness. Although all such counts represent an underestimation of the problem because of methodological and other challenges, they provide useful evidence to enhance public awareness and to shape policy and program decision making. This count will inform definitions of homelessness and establish a baseline homeless count for subsequent community homelessness policy and program development. Increasing understanding of the challenges faced by individuals experiencing homelessness in Saskatoon will help community agencies to better address those challenges, to tailor initiatives to reported needs of the population, and to help reduce or mitigate homelessness.

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Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada