“It was United Way-funded organizations that had a bed there for me. With a place to go home to, I could get back on my feet.” Thanks to a housing support program, Travis was able to focus on getting clean and restarting his life. Now he’s a busy university student and works at another local homeless shelter, giving back to the community that once helped him.
In 2016, just over 1,600 people stayed in a Halifax shelter. But many others are couch surfing with friends, family or strangers, rough sleeping (on streets or in cars), or have inappropriate housing. Because these ‘hidden homeless’ generally do not access homeless supports and services, they aren’t captured in the statistics so we know the number of people experiencing homelessness in Halifax is significantly higher than 1,600.
While homelessness can affect anyone, some populations are more at risk than others. Single adult males between the ages of 25 and 55 account for almost half of the homeless population in Canada. In Halifax, 67.8% of shelter users in 2016 identified as male. Youth, Indigenous people, and women and families experiencing poverty and violence are also at greater risk of homelessness.
There is a significant amount of work being done in Halifax to address the issue of homelessness. United Way Halifax along with the other partners in the Housing and Homelessness Partnership are committed to changing these conditions. Together with the community and all levels of government, we are working to end homelessness and housing poverty in Halifax.