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Assessing homelessness risk and service deprivation in London, Ontario


Jackie Tan


Despite the increasing prevalence of homelessness in small and mid-sized Canadian cities, research addressing this issue has been notably absent. As homelessness continues to become a more substantial problem within these communities, it is important to examine whether the trends and insights observed in larger cities apply to their smaller counterparts.

Drawing on the 2021 Census and municipal data, this study explored the risk of homelessness in the mid-sized city of London, Ontario and investigated whether the spatial distribution of homeless services corresponded with the areas of greatest need. Results reveal that homeless risk and service provision concentrate within specific neighbourhoods, primarily within the downtown core.

The study’s findings suggest that although existing services were situated where homeless risk is highest, the current positioning of services in the city did not always effectively address the particular needs of each neighbourhood. Consequently, policymakers should ensure that future initiatives and programs are tailored to the unique needs of each neighbourhood in order to optimize their overall effectiveness.

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