Homelessness in Winnipeg
Homelessness in Winnipeg, Manitoba - 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
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/ month6
Statistics Canada (2006) 2006 Census: Portrait of the Canadian Population in 2006: Data tables, figures, maps and animations. Available at http://www12.statcan.ca/census-recensement/2006/as-sa/97-550/tables-tableaux-notes-eng.cfm
Figures reported on the Mental Health Commission of Canada website available at http://www.mentalhealthcommission.ca/English/Pages/WinnipegResearch.aspx
Canadian Institute for Health Information(2007). Improving the Health of Canadians: Mental Health and Homelessness (Ottawa: CIHI, 2007).
Native Women's Association of Canada (2007). Aboriginal Women and Homelessness An Issues Paper. Available at http://www.naws-sfna.ca/pdf/nwac-homelessness.pdf
Patton, Lemair and Freisen. (2008) Still without Shelter: A description of issues faced by street youth in Winnipeg in 2007. Published by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba. Available at: http://www.afm.mb.ca/Media%20Room/documents/StreetYouthReport2007October08.pdf
Figure reported on the Siloam Mission website. Homelessness and Poverty in Winnipeg. Available at: http://www.siloam.ca/homelessness.htm