Who are the people experiencing homelessness?
The issue of homelessness is complex and often misunderstood. It is influenced by several factors such as health, economic status, and other societal structures. Homelessness also takes on multiple forms. Here are some definitions that may help bring clarity:
Unsheltered Homeless: People whose primary residence is not traditionally used as a sleeping accommodation. (Includes parks, automobiles, benches, and abandoned or vacant buildings).
Sheltered Homeless: People who stay at a supervised shelter designed to provide temporary alleviation of homelessness.
Hidden Homeless: People, who would otherwise be homeless, but:
• Share accommodations with other groups in the same household; for example, “couch surfing.”
• Depend upon public assistance for their shelter payments each month.
Precariously Housed or At-Risk: People who could become homeless in less than three months if they lost their primary source of income.
Chronic Homelessness: Ongoing and recurring homelessness caused by factors such as mental illness, substance abuse, disability and a range of socio-economic and environmental factors.
Transitional Homelessness: Major causes: medical bankruptcy, foreclosures, poor credit, high housing costs and a tight housing market.
Episodic Homeless: One who has three or more episodes of homelessness in the past year.
There are also other agencies that are dedicated to helping Steinbach’s less fortunate. We encourage you to investigate how you can be involved.
This data initiated our journey to create Today House…
Irene Kroeker, Community Outreach director, works with the homeless almost on a daily basis. Here are some words that she had to share with City of Steinbach Council in May 2012: “Everyone wants to know about numbers – the statistics about how many people there are out there that need help. Keeping statistics within the 2011 year, I personally have assisted about 50 individuals/families in securing housing; some of you may have heard and will again hear on the radio this next week the number of homeless people that we helped being 170. I’ll explain very briefly how I came up with the number of 170. In my records, I have counted each person as a separate unit, meaning if there is a family of 4 homeless, then I would record it as being 4 people homeless, so, in adding up all the people that were homeless in 2011, the total is 170. These statistics come from the work Community Outreach has done. Some of you may know also that Backstage, Eden East, Crisis Stabilization Unit and other organizations have also dealt with homeless issues, so this is a conservative number I’m giving you.”