More than 3/4 of Regina’s homeless are Indigenous: report
- EFN Staff | September 23, 2018
A recently released report shows that 79.72% of Regina’s homeless are identified as Indigenous. A second Point-in-Time (PiT) count report of homelessness in Regina was released on September 20th showed. According to the report, “Aboriginal populations are growing at faster rates in Regina than non-Aboriginal populations, and have been grossly overrepresented in homeless counts in Regina. Despite representing 9% of the Regina population, 79% of individuals surveyed (n=155) in the 2018 PiT-Count self-identified as being First Nations, Inuit, or Metis. According to Statistics Canada (December, 2017), unemployment among Indigenous people in Regina is 14.6%, more than double the rate.”
Addison Docherty, the PiT Count Director, said the report shows that current trends of homelessness between 2018 and the last count in 2015 are holding steady and confirmed that action is needed to begin to reverse the trend and end homelessness.
“While the number is slightly higher, things are very similar to our last count. The proportion of those living in homelessness who are Indigenous is similar and still much too high,” said Docherty in a media release. “Too many people are experiencing homelessness as a child and having interactions with the foster care system. This is why a Plan To End Homelessness in Regina is so crucial. We can reverse these trends.”
The PiT Count is a method used to calculate those who are homeless in the city. On April 18th of this year, the PiT Count was conducted over three hours as individuals were asked to participate in a volunteer survey.
Similar to the 2015 count which found 77% of respondents identified as Indigenous. The data found in this report is essential in creating the Plan To End Homelessness in Regina, a comprehensive 5-year strategy which is set to launch later this year.
“One of our goals from the start has been to ensure this Plan was created with and for the community,” said Terin Kennedy, Director of The Plan To End Homelessness. “We are striving for ambitious goals that will take community support and collaboration in order for success to occur. We believe the Regina community, including non-profits, private business and all levels of Government, are ready to see this through.”
The 2018 PiT Count key findings identified 286 individuals as being homeless. Hidden homelessness data showed 31.8% and 28.3% were staying in an emergency shelter or a transitional housing facility. A total of 61.6% identified the high cost of renting to be the number one barrier to finding adequate housing and 29.4% of respondents said substance abuse was the number one identified reason for losing housing.