Local Homelessness and Poverty Information
The City of Brantford and the County of Brant are safe, healthy and sustainable communities offering a good place to work, live and play. At the same time, our communities, like many Canadian cities and towns, are facing a wide range of serious social concerns, which interact to increase the risks of homelessness.
The current population of the City of Brantford is 90,220. The County of Brant represents 34,420 individuals, for a combined total population of 124,640.
The Federal Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) defines homelessness as:
- Living on the street
- Staying overnight in a temporary shelter
- Staying in places not meant for human habitation
- Moving continuously among temporary housing arrangements provided by strangers, friends or family.
We can further define homelessness into three categories that include:
- Absolute homelessness – those individuals who are sleeping outside, in a public place or in anemergency shelter
- The hidden homeless – those who are staying with family or friends temporarily
- At risk of homelessness – those individuals who are inadequately housed or whose life circumstances can “tip” them over into homelessness (i.e. consequences of personal decisions, trauma, events outside of one’s personal control).
Our ability to effectively prevent homelessness is a daunting task. What we do know is that there are some obvious gaps in service delivery that provide opportunities for homelessness instead of housing stability. The lack of affordable, safe and suitable housing options in our community affects the number of people who are at risk of homelessness. Basic income levels dictate how well the necessities of life (including housing and food) are purchased by individuals and families. Many individuals are discharged from hospital, mental health facilities, addiction treatment programs, jails and prisons directly to the street or emergency shelters. Lack of appropriate discharge practices significantly impact the individuals most at risk of becoming homeless. As well, our community’s ability to have a labour ready workforce (who can earn a living wage) significantly contributes to more stable housing.