Fewer homeless using shelters in Red Deer

Fewer homeless using shelters in Red Deer

Point in Time Count finds 149 people homeless

Red Deer has seen a jump in the percentage of homeless people who are not using shelters.

The 2016 Point in Time Count carried out Oct. 19 suggested 25 per cent of homeless were on the street, up from 16 per cent during the 2014 count.

Those using shelters, short-term housing or part of a public system like a hospital, dropped to 75 per cent compared to 84 per cent in 2014.

“This is just our preliminary report, and we noted there was a bit of a trend where shelter numbers are down. That’s been occurring over the last few months so it wasn’t a surprise that the number of folks on the street had increased,” said Janell Bunbury, the city’s social planning program co-ordinator, on Tuesday.

“We’re proactively reaching out to those who are sleeping rough on the streets. I think that’s something we need to continue to do based on the numbers we’re seeing.”

She said fewer people may be using shelters for different reasons. More could be finding housing. More may prefer sleeping rough. Further analysis of data is required.

Overall, 149 people were experiencing homelessness in Red Deer during the October count. That’s an increase from 137 in 2014. But the methodology changed this year to count 18 people at the John Howard Society and Red Deer Remand Centre to match how counts are done in Alberta’s six other major communities.

In the 2012 count, 279 people were homeless in Red Deer, so the city has seen a 46.6 per cent decrease in homelessness over four years.

“We’re certainly heading in the right direction to address homelessness in our community,” Bunbury said.

“The city and its community partners have been doing a lot of good work, and we’re always looking to improve the system and meet the needs of the clients.”

Data collected last month suggested slightly more females were experiencing homelessness at 28 per cent, up from 25.3 per cent in 2014. Among males, the percentage dropped to 72 from 74.7.

Homeless who were immigrants or refugees within the last five years dropped to two per cent from 10 per cent.

A full analysis of the 2016 count will be released in the new year.

Red Deer has a five-year plan, which aims to end homelessness by 2018.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Innisfail RCMP were dispatched to a report of a break and enter in progress on Sunday. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Red Deer woman among two arrested by Didsbury RCMP

Two people are facing drug-related charges after RCMP searched a home in… Continue reading

Satnam Singh Sandhu, 42, was sentenced to six years in prison for manslaughter on Friday in Red Deer Court of Queens Bench. (File photo by Advocate staff)
Sylvan Lake man sentenced to six years for choking his wife

Satnam Singh Sandhu pleaded guilty to manslaughter

Some workers are terrified at the prospect of returning to work at Olymel, where hundreds were infected with COVID, says a worker.
Advocate file photo
Second death linked to Olymel COVID-19 outbreak, Alberta Health confirms

A second death has been linked to the Olymel COVID-19 outbreak, Alberta… Continue reading

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rises during question period in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
New vaccine brings optimism amid rising threat of variants, high case counts

Canada’s vaccine rollout received a boost Friday with the approval of a… Continue reading

An arrest by Red Deer RCMP is facing online scrutiny. No charges have been laid and the incident is still under investigation. (Screenshot of YouTube video)
Red Deer RCMP investigating violent arrest caught on video

Police say officer ‘acted within the scope of his duties’

This image released by Briarcliff Entertainment shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, with journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a scene from the documentary “The Dissident.” (Briarcliff Entertainment via AP)
US implicates Saudi crown prince in journalist’s killing

WASHINGTON — Saudi Arabia’s crown prince likely approved the killing of U.S.-based… Continue reading

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby speaks during a media briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
US strike, first under Biden, kills Iran-backed militiaman

BAGHDAD — A U.S. airstrike in Syria targeted facilities belonging to a… Continue reading

Conservative member of Parliament Michael Cooper holds a press conference as he is joined virtually by fellow members of Parliament, Canadian geriatricians, mental health professionals and Indigenous leaders in Ottawa on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, regarding the Senate amendments to Bill C-7, an Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying). THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Address anti-Indigenous racism in health care before expanding MAID: advocates, MP

OTTAWA — The federal government should not expand access to medical assistance… Continue reading

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

FILE - Cameron Forte (right) and his Fraser Valley Bandits are 2-0 at the Canadian Elite Basketball League Summer Series after being the Saskatchewan Rattlers. (CEBL photo)
CEBL releases 14-game 2021 schedule, hopes to see fans attend games in person

Season will kick off with the Edmonton Stingers and the Fraser Valley Bandits

FILE - Keegan Messing performs during the Men’s Short program at the 2020 Canadian Tire National Skating Championships in Mississauga, Ont., Friday, Jan. 17, 2020. If the world figure skating championships do go ahead in a bubble in March in Sweden, there is a good chance Canada won’t be there. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Messing leads Canadian figure skating team at world championships

Messing was the only Canadian to compete on the Grand Prix circuit this season

Nurses episode, titled “Achilles Heel,” was first aired on Global in February 2020. (Photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Global pulls ‘Nurses’ episode after scene with Orthodox Jews deemed anti-Semitic

TORONTO — Global TV says it has pulled an episode of Toronto-set… Continue reading

Lady Gaga is offering a $500,000 reward for the return of her two French bulldogs. (Photo by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Lady Gaga’s dog walker shot, French bulldogs stolen in LA

Dog walker expected to survive injuries

Most Read