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Homelessness in Quebec up 44 per cent since 2018


The number of people experiencing homelessness in Quebec has increased by 44 per cent compared to 2018, according to a report from Quebec's public health institute (INSPQ) commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

“The comparison between the exercises conducted on April 24, 2018, and October 11, 2022, estimated that the magnitude of the increase in visible homelessness was 44%,” the report states.

It also states that homelessness has increased in all regions of Quebec but in different proportions. 

Over 60 per cent of people experiencing homelessness live in Montreal.


The report points to the shortage of affordable housing and COVID-19 to explain the increase in homelessness.

The methodology has also improved compared to 2018. The Abitibi-Temiscamingue and Cote-Nord regions, as well as the municipalities of Gatineau, Trois-Rivieres, Drummondville and Saint-Jerome, have since been added to the survey.

Homelessness affects Indigenous people more strongly, particularly in Montreal and the Abitibi-Temiscamingue and Cote-Nord regions.

The report indicates that Indigenous people experiencing homelessness are particularly present in outdoor spaces and emergency housing resources and less so in transitional resources and therapy centres. Indigenous people are also more likely to have spent the entire year homeless. Indigenous people are twice as likely to report that racism is linked to losing their last home.

"Given these findings, we must ask ourselves questions about the structural, historical and social issues surrounding Indigenous homelessness and other related problems. It must be admitted that strategies to prevent both the onset of homelessness and the increasing complexity of the problems experienced are either inadequate, non-existent or ineffective," the report states.

Homelessness is also overrepresented among those who were placed with Quebec's youth protection department in the past, people with diverse sexual and gender identities, and people who have been evicted from their housing.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Sept. 13, 2023. Top Stories

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