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September 13 2023

Reaching Home Community Advisory Board Releases Results Of 2023 Point-In-Time Count

WHITEHORSE (September 13, 2023) – On April 18th and 19th, the Reaching Home Community Advisory Board, the Safe at Home Society, and 21 local volunteers conducted Whitehorse’s fourth Point-in-Time (PiT) Homeless Count. The count was funded in part by Reaching Home, the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. The count results are now available in an infographic and final report released today and can be found in the Documents section below.
Whitehorse’s PiT Count found that at least 197 people were homeless during a 24-hour period: 10 people were unsheltered (living on the street, in vehicles, or tents) and 65 people were emergency sheltered at one of 3 local shelters. An additional 109 individuals were provisionally accommodated in transitional housing, in a hotel, staying at someone else’s place or in a public institution such as, Whitehorse Correctional Centre, Whitehorse General Hospital, or in programming at Mental Wellness & Substance Use Services. 13 individuals were unsure where they would be staying the night of the Count. 

The report highlights that community members continue to face persistent affordability challenges. This has been the top barrier to obtaining housing since the 2016 Count. Bill Bruton, Reaching Home Community Advisory Board Co-Chair and individual with lived experience of homelessness says, “The question is – how badly do we want to end homelessness? We have the tools at hand, and we know the solution is deeply affordable housing.”

55% of survey respondents reported that they had been homeless for a full 12 months and another 25% reported being homeless between 6 and 12 months. These figures are comparable to the 2021 PiT Count, suggesting that the needs of individuals who are trapped in long cycles of homelessness are going unmet. “These results illustrate once again that people’s health is suffering, they are trapped in shelter systems, and their housing needs are unmet” says Kate Mechan, Executive Director of Safe at Home Society. “The increased trend in those experiencing absolute homelessness is worrisome and inexcusable” Mechan adds.

The PiT Count findings will inform the Community Advisory Board’s funding priorities moving forward and will complement the learnings of the Coordinated Housing Access Team (CHAT). The CHAT table is responsible for matching individuals and families to housing and supports using Whitehorse’s By-Name List. This List, unlike the PiT Count, provides real-time data of the number of individuals experiencing homelessness. Both data sets will fuel our ability to respond with urgency and care as we move, person by person, to ending homelessness.


For more information

  • Kate Mechan, Executive Director, Safe at Home Society
  • or Kristina Craig, Executive Director, Yukon Anti-Poverty Coalition