A man sleeps at vacant commercial property in downtown Victoria. (Tom Fletcher/News Staff)

Additional data from Point-in-Time survey finds most homeless people are local

Most homeless people are young men between the ages of 18 and 24

The Capital Regional District has released more data from their Point-in-Time Report, which was originally released in July.

The supplementary report offers additional information gathered from speaking with Greater Victoria’s homeless population and conducting a survey.

Homeless in Victoria
Infogram

The report unveiled that over 56 per cent of people are originally from B.C., and that 18 per cent are originally from Victoria, and 60 per cent living in the area for over a year.

READ MORE: Point in Time count finds homelessness growing in Victoria

People who moved to Greater Victoria mostly came from Vancouver, Calgary, Duncan, Nanaimo and Toronto.

“It’s a misconception that people are moving here, or coming for the weather,” said Christine Culham, Senior Manager of Regional Housing with the CRD. “Mostly people come for jobs, relationships and family, the number one response for why people come is family.”

Culham said the study revealed that while everyone surveyed was homeless, only 17 per cent were entirely unsheltered, due to the availability of shelter beds, couch surfing or staying with family and friends.

The data also revealed a lot about the demographics of the city’s homeless community. Almost three quarters of homeless people identified as men, but this shifts for people who identify as Indigenous, where almost 40 per cent are women.

READ MORE: Victoria organization says homelessness needs to be seen through an Indigenous lens

There is also a heavy youth presence; a majority of homeless people are between 18-24 years old, followed shortly after by 35-39 and 45-49.

Nearly 40 per cent of people first experienced homelessness when they were 18 or under, and of the people questioned, over 30 per cent said they either had been or still were youth in government care. When asked how long it took to become homeless after leaving government care, 68 people reported it took less than a month, while 46 said it took less than a day.

“It becomes a pattern in their lifetime, and it would make a huge difference if we can do prevention early,” Culham said.

The most commonly reported reasons for housing loss included addiction or substance use, job loss, the inability to pay mortgage or rent, illness or medical condition, and a conflict with another adult or spouse.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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