Surge in Quebec Homelessness: Shocking 44% Increase Since 2018 Exposes Crisis Among Indigenous Community


Unsettling statistics underscore a stark increase of homelessness across the province of Quebec, with figures reflecting a searing 44 per cent surge since the year 2018. The public health institute of Quebec uncovers these numbers in a recent report commissioned by the Ministry of Health and Social Services.

Drawing comparisons between data acquired on April 24, 2018, and that of October 11, 2022, the report reveals that, what they term ‘visible homelessness,’ has risen dramatically by 44 per cent. Furthermore, this troubling ascent infiltrates every corner of the province, irrespective of regional differences that come into play.

The sprawling city of Montreal is home to over 60 per cent of the province’s homeless population, a noteworthy finding within the report.

Causes propelling this upward trend in homelessness are multifaceted, with particular pointers being the shortage of affordable housing, and the aftershocks of the COVID-19 pandemic. The recording methodology has exhibited a phase of enhancement since the 2018 survey, with additional regions and municipalities, including Abitibi-Temiscamingue, Cote-Nord, Gatineau, Trois-Rivieres, Drummondville, and Saint-Jerome, being incorporated into the evaluation.

Starkly, the Indigenous people of Quebec seem to bear a disproportionate share of the burden of homelessness, particularly in Montreal, and the newly included areas of Abitibi-Temiscamingue and Cote-Nord. Homeless Indigenous individuals exhibit a higher tendency to inhabit outdoor spaces and rely on emergency housing resources, with significantly less utilization of transitional resources and therapy centres. An unsettling pattern is that they are also more prone to experiencing continuous homelessness throughout an entire year, it’s twice as likely that they ascribe their loss of housing to racism.

Reflection upon these grim findings results in a call for an in-depth examination of the structural, historical and social determinants intertwining Indigenous homelessness and other ensuing issues. The current strategies to prevent homelessness onset and manage the escalating complexity of these issues are evidently deficient, if not entirely absent or ineffective, as highlighted in the report.

Also at increased risk of homelessness are those who were formerly under the supervision of Quebec’s youth protection department, individuals of varying sexual and gender identities, and those who have been forcibly evicted from their housing.


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