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County releases 2018 Report on State of Homelessness in Northumberland

Posted on Wednesday November 21, 2018

Cobourg, ON – November 21, 2018 – During Registry Week 2018, Northumberland County and community partners connected with people experiencing homelessness as part of the second local homeless enumeration. Survey teams fanned out across Northumberland the week of April 16th, meeting with 51 individuals and 10 families, and completing surveys about their housing history, health, and current levels of risk and need. A formal report on the information gathered was shared today with County Council.

“The information gathered through this process continues to be an important part of our efforts to understand the individual situations of community members experiencing homelessness,” indicated Community & Social Services Director Lisa Horne. “Working with our community partners, this person-specific data will help us to tailor our programs and strengthen our system of supports in order to deliver a meaningful impact.”

This 2018 process was part of a province-wide collection of homeless enumeration data, now mandated by the government to occur every two years to inform both local and provincial housing and homelessness programs and policies.

Although homeless counts do not give a full picture of the extent of homelessness in a community, survey data collected during Registry Week does help to define the scope of homelessness in Northumberland as well as the characteristics of this vulnerable population. This data—as well as the County’s 10-Year Housing and Homelessness Plan, the pending Affordable Housing Strategy and other reports—will help the County to effectively plan services and programs that support housing access and stability for Northumberland residents, as well as measure progress over time towards reducing the incidence of homelessness, locally.

Findings captured in the report ‘The 2018 State of Homelessness in Northumberland County’ include:

  • 18% of survey respondents were between 16-25 years, 71% were between 25-59 years, and 10% were 60+ years.
  • 63% of adults and 80% of families reported that they were experiencing homelessness because of an experience of emotional, physical, psychological, sexual or other type of abuse or trauma.
  • 64% of youth reported that they were experiencing homelessness because of an unhealthy or abusive relationship either at home or elsewhere.
  • 66% had to leave an apartment or other housing due to their physical health, while 23% have lost their housing because of a mental health concern.
  • 60% of all survey respondents were assessed as high acuity (intensive supports required).

To view the full report, as well as other information about housing and homelessness plans for Northumberland, visit

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