Winnipeg Street Census 2015

The first Winnipeg Street Census took place over 24 hours on October 25 and 26. Three hundred volunteers set out to determine how many people were homeless in the city, learn why and listen to their stories. Twenty-two community-based agencies, including Main Street Project, partnered to undertake the project. Here are some excerpts from the report, which was released last month. You can read the full version at

Events leading to homelessness

  • Youth homelessness leads to adult homelessness. The median age at which people first became homeless was 24 years, and the most frequent age was 18 years.
  • Of those experiencing homelessness for 10-plus years, the majority (70 per cent) first became homeless when they were 18 years or younger.
  • The most common reason people experienced homelessness for the first time was family conflict or breakdown. 39.4 per cent became homeless for this reason and one-quarter of them experienced family violence.

Length of time homeless

  • People move in and out of homelessness as their life circumstances and supports change.
  • The average length of most recent time homelessness was nine months.
  • The average cumulative length of time spent homeless over a lifetime was 24 months.
  • 354 people experienced homelessness for six months or longer.
  • 181 people experienced homelessness three or more times in the past three years.

 Key Circumstances

  • Almost half, 49.2 per cent of people spent time in foster care or group homes.
  • 6 per cent have served in the military or RCMP.
  • 10.8 per cent are part of the LGBTQ community overall. 23.1 per cent of youth (age 29 or under) are part of the LGBTQ community.
  • 1.8 per cent are recent immigrants or refugees (in Canada for five years or less).


71.1 per cent of respondents identify as indigenous

Of these respondents:

  • First Nations Status – 68.9 per cent
  • Metis – 21.7 per cent
  • Non-Status or have Aboriginal ancestry – 8.9 per cent
  • Inuit – 0.5 per cent

Find out how you can get involved with Main Street Project to help end homelessness in Winnipeg.

The above information is excerpted from the Winnipeg Street Census 2015. 

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