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Street Count

Michael Shapcott's Backgrounder on counting homeless people

The City of Toronto held a "Street Needs Assessment" on April 19th, 2006. TDRC has a long history of being opposed to this method of counting homeless people. 

The results of the count were released on Friday, June 23rd. The report went to Community Services where numerous amendments were debated and lost, and then on to Council at the end of July were it was approved. None of the amendments were revived.

The TDRC Press release on the results is available here.

The Street Needs Assessment found that 5052 people were homeless on April 19th, 2006 including:

  • 3649 (72%) in shelters
  • 818 (16%) on the street
  • 275 (5%) in health care or treatment facilities
  • 171 (3%) in Violence Against Women facilities
  • 139 (3%) in correctional facilities


We believe that these numbers must be treated as a snapshot, they do not present a full and accurate representation of all homeless people. We know that many were missed that night due to the survey methodology. The numbers don't even start to take into account the hidden homeless population.

The City's Full report is available here.

Here is some background information to help you gain a better understanding of the issues:

TDRC's Position Paper on the Street Count - available for download in both WORD and PDF

Cathy Crowe's April 2009 Newsletter on the Count

Cathy Crowe's April 2006 Newsletter on the Count

Michael Shapcott's deputation to Community Services Committee in opposition to the count.

David Hulchanski's policy paper on Counting the Homeless.