Homelessness in Hamilton isn’t decreasing despite the results of a two-day survey suggesting otherwise.

Staff at Mission Services offer this sobering outlook on the eve of winter with shelters regularly turning women away because they’re full.

“It’s a growing problem,” executive director Carol Cowan-Morneau said during an interview this week about the agency’s daytime drop-in program for women.

About 30 people braved the cold weather on Tuesday afternoon to raise their voices at an anti-poverty rally outside city hall in Thunder Bay, Ont.

Demonstrators held signs and set up tents at the event, which was organized by the grassroots group Disrupt and held to protest changes to provincial social assistance programs, including the cancelation of the basic income pilot.

“We’re having a public demonstration just to bring attention to the abject poverty that is currently occurring in our city and the fact that it’s going to get worse with all of the changes that the Ontario government is making,” said Angie Lynch, one of the organizers of the event.

There has been a steady rise in street homelessness in Fredericton and across the province. A growing number of people are at risk of injury, or worse, due to the dropping temperatures; as such, communities have been working to develop short-term solutions to address this crisis.

Through the collective efforts of a number of agencies and individuals, Fredericton’s Out of the Cold will open its door on Thursday night (November 29) to upwards of 20 individuals. The OOTC will be open nightly from 8:00 pm to 7:30 am for the next 20 weeks.

Joshua Donald Hewitt knows that poverty isn’t a choice.

A recipient of the basic income pilot project, which the Doug Ford led Progressive Conservative government is axing, Hewitt believes poverty, homelessness and addiction are all long-term health concerns that governments need to re-evaluate how they’re addressed.

“I strongly believe since poverty is a form of structural violence and environment shapes our behaviour, it’s up to us as citizens to come together and really address that and tackle it head on,” Hewitt said.

“It’s not even about the politicians to me. It’s about the people who vote for the politicians. It’s about the perspective the community has and changing that perspective Canada-wide.”

The number of people aged 55+ living on the streets in Vancouver is high and rising.

In 2014, the Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver found 18 per cent of people sleeping on park benches, in alleys, or in shelters were seniors. Last year, that figure climbed to 21 per cent.

“It is a trend we have been experiencing in our own shelter, seeing a steady uptick in the numbers over the past five years,” said Scott Small, director of Catholic Charities Shelter Services.

The numbers of homeless people sleeping in Victoria parks and the costs of picking up after them continue to climb.

City staff are seeking $362,000 in ongoing supplementary funding in next year’s budget to cover cleanup and other anticipated costs associated with homeless camping in city parks. That’s an increase of $62,000 over 2018.

As of October, the city is receiving an average of 304 calls for service per month, related to sheltering in parks compared to 267 in 2017 and 238 in 2016.

The city cannot wait until the New Year to start looking for a shelter to replace Cornerstone, says the author of a report on crime and homelessness in Kelowna

Former RCMP Supt. Bill McKinnon spoke to iNFOnews.ca from Kelowna Airport today, Nov. 27, and urged the city to take immediate action on this issue.

Cornerstone is a homeless shelter that is operated by the John Howard Society and was opened on Leon Avenue Nov. 30, 2017 with 80 beds. It’s known as a “low barrier” facility, meaning drugs can be used under supervision on site. It’s about three blocks from the long-established Gospel Mission shelter.

“Cornerstone was a crisis decision that had to be made,” McKinnon said. “People were going to freeze to death. There was no planning.”