Efforts to measure homelessness have found strong evidence of “hidden homelessness” in Lambton County, including Sarnia.

A “homeless enumeration” carried out by the county’s social services division over two weeks last spring found that 42 per cent of the 123 individuals surveyed reported having provisional accommodations.

“They may be in a hospital, they may be in jail or a treatment centre,” said county social planner Maggie Elliott, “but what that also includes is people who are staying with other people,” which is sometimes called “couch surfing” or “crashing” with a friend.

“I think there’s a big misconception that those people are not homeless, but in fact they are.”