Overview

On March 12, 2021, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing issued a directive to service managers to do a point-in-time count of people in their service area that are homeless.

A point-in-time count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night. It is intended to capture numbers and basic demographics of people experiencing homelessness at a single point in time.

In Ontario, service managers plan and deliver housing and homelessness services for their local service area. Service managers are either:

  • regional governments
  • counties or separated cities
  • district social services administration boards, which are boards established in each of the ten districts in Northern Ontario

Minister’s directive

Pursuant to s. 19.1 of the Housing Services Act, 2011 (the “Act”), the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing hereby directs that, with respect to enumeration by service managers of persons who are homeless:

  1. Each service manager shall conduct an enumeration of persons who are homeless in its service area using a point-in-time count method.

    A point-in-time count is a count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night. A point-in-time count is intended to capture numbers and basic demographics of persons experiencing homelessness at a single point in time.
  2. The demographic information collected during the point-in-time count shall include the data points listed in appendix A.
  3. As part of the point-in-time count the service manager shall create or build on an existing by-name list of people experiencing homelessness. The by-name list shall include only those people who have consented to be included on the list.

    A by-name list is a list including names and contact information of people experiencing homelessness who would like to receive assistance from the service manager to find housing services and supports.
  4. The service manager shall engage Indigenous partners, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, in the service manager’s communities in the planning and implementation of the point-in-time count and the development of a by-name list, consistent with the principle of supporting relationship-building and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
  5. The service manager shall conduct the point-in-time count no later than December 15, 2021.
  6. The service manager shall give the minister a summary of information collected during the point-in-time count. The summary shall include the information identified in appendix B. The service manager shall give the information to the minister electronically by December 31, 2021.

The Ministerial Directive to Service Managers under section 19.1 of the Housing Services Act, 2011 that was issued on January 30, 2017 is revoked.

Issued this 12th day of March 2021.

Signature: Original signed by the minister

The Honourable Steve Clark
Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing

Appendix A: mandatory data points

  • overnight location
  • chronicity of homelessness
  • age
  • reasons for homelessness/housing loss
  • Indigenous identity
  • racialized identity 
  • gender identity 
  • sexual orientation
  • family homelessness
  • military service
  • health — illness/medical condition 
  • health — physical limitation
  • health — learning or cognitive limitations
  • health — mental health issue
  • health — substance use issue
  • child welfare involvement
  • income source

Appendix B: reporting of point-in-time count data to the ministry

Service managers shall give the following information to the minister following enumeration:

  • number of people experiencing homelessness on the night of the count.
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who completed surveys, based on the questions in appendix A.
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who reported staying in:
    • unsheltered location
    • homeless shelter
    • hotel or motel (funded by the City or homeless program)
    • encampment
    • transitional shelter or housing
    • other locations
  • number of people experiencing homelessness in each of the following age categories:
    • under 25 years
    • 25-35 years
    • 36-49 years
    • 50-64 years
    • 65+ years
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who identified as:
    • chronically homeless
    • Indigenous
    • racialized
    • LGBTQ2S
    • male
    • female
    • not cis-gender
    • experiencing family homelessness
    • having past military service
    • having an illness or medical condition
    • having a physical limitation
    • having a learning or cognitive limitation
    • having a mental health issue
    • having a substance use issue
    • having had prior child welfare involvement
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who identified incarceration (jail or prison) as a reason for losing their housing most recently.
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who identified "experienced abuse by spouse/partner" as a reason for losing their housing most recently.
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who reported full-, part-time or casual employment income.
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who reported receiving government disability or social assistance income.
  • number of people experiencing homelessness who were added to the by-name List through enumeration.
  • total number of people on the service manager by-name list.

Additional details about requirements and reporting are contained within the Service Manager Guidelines By-Name List implementation and homeless enumeration (PDF).

Updated: August 05, 2021
Published: March 19, 2021