The city has released the latest results for the 2022 Point-in-Time Homeless Count. The survey shows at least 454 people are experiencing homelessness. These counts are done every two years and since the last report, the numbers have doubled. An official with the city explains why that is.
“The main increase comes from the number of unsheltered individuals. In terms of the sheltered count, we’re seeing similar number of people from 2018, 2021, and 2022. In terms of what we’re seeing in terms of our service providers, this number wasn’t totally unexpected. This was kind of what we had heard in the community. So the numbers we received align with what we know from the service providers working with these individuals,” said Erin Mason, Data and Reporting, Community Social Development for the City of Lethbridge.
The city says they were not surprised by the increase and now this data gives them the ability to advocate for more housing resources.
“It supports our communication with the provincial and federal government as well to bring in more resources for our community members who are experiencing homelessness. We can certainly attribute some of this to the recent inflation that we’re seeing within our community. Our rental prices have increased, and we have not significantly been able to increase the number of affordable housing units within our community,” said Takara Motz, Acting General Manager, Community Social Development for the City of Lethbridge.
Of the 454 people who are experiencing homelessness, about 52 per cent are unsheltered.