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The Progressive Economics Forum

Rising Homelessness

In 2010, I wrote a blog post in which I suggested that: a) the recession of 2008-2009 would bring on increased homelessness; and b) there would be a lag effect of roughly three to five years.  Indeed, I suggested that it would not be until 2014 until the full effect of the recession is seen in terms of homeless numbers.

Recent data from the City of Toronto appear to lend support to my prediction.


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Comment from Paul Tulloch
Time: April 2, 2014, 11:37 pm

even the graphs they use try and hide the poor- gees when will the city figure out hiding the poor or ignoring them only makes it feel better for a while- eventually even the stacked bar graphs cannot hide the trend! Wow that is indeed some massive growth in dire need. So much we have, and so much we need to share more.

Comment from fjf
Time: April 9, 2014, 1:59 am

A question on the methodology.

The title indicates that this is a census of users of the city of Toronto shelter system.

We know that the past winter has been one of significant severity.

My reading of the graph is that there was a significant population of Toronto homeless who were able to survive past winters without having need of recourse to city shelters. Since they were not in city shelters they were not counted in any prior homeless census.

But the severity of the current winter has driven these persons into the shelter system where they are made subject to the census and are now being counted.

If correct, this interpretation suggests that most prior estimates of the homeless population result in a significant under counting of the actual numbers of homeless. If you can minimize a problem through the use of bad data then you can avoid the need to actually do something about the problem.

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