Using Data to End Homelessness

In addition to independent research and ongoing data collection in collaboration with service providers, Affordable Housing Nova Scotia participates in two periodic, standardized, national data collection events - the Point in Time Count and Registry Week.

Information collected from these community-powered events provides critical insights into homelessness locally and nationally. Those insights help service providers and funding partners to best prioritize and allocate resources to end homelessness. 

  • Data leads to insights. =>
  • Insights lead to informed decision making and planning. =>
  • Better plans lead to more meaningful and effective action. =>
  • Effective action leads to real change... an end to homelessness.

Survey teams systematically canvas shelters and public spaces to collect information from willing participants. Whenever possible, interventions to support the most vulnerable homeless identified during the survey will be introduced. We work in collaboration with our partners and homeless and insecurely housed members of our community to collect the information needed to design working solutions that meet the needs of our community.

Point in Time: Everyone Counts

What is a Point in time Count?

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The Point in Time (PiT) Count is a an initiative of Canada's Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) Joined by 59 designated communities across Canada, AHANS represents both Halifax and Cape Breton as part of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy funding stream. In 2016, AHANS participated in the first national,  coordinated PiT Count. 

"A PiT Count is a method used to measure sheltered and unsheltered homelessness. It aims to enumerate individuals in a community who are, at a given time, staying in shelters or "sleeping rough" (e.g., on the street, in parks), providing a "snapshot" of homelessness in a community. PiT counts include a survey that can provide communities with information on the characteristics of their homeless population (e.g., age, gender, Veteran status, Indigenous identity). This information can be used by communities to direct resources to areas of greatest need, and to connect individuals with specific backgrounds to targeted supports to help them achieve stable housing. When completed on subsequent years, it can also be used to track changes in the homeless population over time and measure progress in reducing it." - Employment and Social Development Canada << link >>

Point in Time is a one-day snapshot of homelessness in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is a view into a moment in time, and is not a comprehensive count.

Registry Week

Headed by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness (CAEH), the 20,000 Homes Campaign is a national movement of communities with a common goal of housing 20,000 of Canada's most vulnerable homeless.

There are seven core elements of the the campaign, the first being:

"Knowing every homeless person by name and understanding each person’s needs and preferences. We cannot solve a problem without knowing its scope. The 20,000 Homes Campaign will train communities on how to use a Registry Week, coordinated outreach and a triage assessment tool to have actionable data on every person experiencing homeless." - 20,000 Homes Campaign

Registry Week is an essential enumeration project to help communities track and meet this critical goal. In Halifax, AHANs coordinates Registry Week during the week of the Point in Time Count.