In 2012, a new Canadian definition of Homelessness was released by the Canadian Homelessness Research Network:

"Homelessness describes the situation of an individual or family without stable, permanent, appropriate housing, or the immediate prospect, means and ability of acquiring it. It is the result of systemic or societal barriers, a lack of affordable and appropriate housing, the individual/household's financial, mental, cognitive, behavioural or physical challenges, and/or racism and discrimination. Most people do not choose to be homeless, and the experience is generally negative, unpleasant, stressful and distressing."

Episodically Homeless

An episodic shelter user is one who has experienced three or more episodes of homelessness in the past year. A single stay or multiple stays within 30 days of each other are considered an episode. A new episode is counted when a user stays at a shelter after 30 days since their last stay at a shelter.

Chronically Homeless

A chronic shelter user is one who has stayed at shelters for more than 180 days in the past year.

Housing and Shelter Circumstances

Housing First

Housing First is a program and philosophy that accommodates people regardless of their challenges. It supports them to remain housed without a requirement that they first become "housing ready". We know from similar programs across North America that a Housing First Program is a very effective intervention to offer people who have long struggled with homelessness.