New snapshot of homelessness in Hamilton shows increase in July numbers


Published August 28, 2023 at 11:34 am


The City of Hamilton’s latest statistics show an increase in the number of homeless people, a shelter system that was largely near or even over capacity, and fewer people housed through the City’s program in July compared to the previous month.

The number of homeless people in Hamilton in July was 1,985, up by 253, according to the new data.

Of that number, 1,284 were homeless for under six months and 701 were homeless for over six months in July. The figures were an increase from June with 1,145 (under six months) and 587 (over six months) for 1,732 total homeless that month.

More individuals became homeless (493) than those who exited homelessness and found housing (235). That’s an increase from June when  300 individuals were newly identified as homeless; 211 had exited homelessness that month. 

All types of shelters and housing were at, near or over 100-per-cent occupancy in July, including men’s and women’s beds, family rooms and hotel overflow rooms. Only youth beds were not completely full, according to the City’s data.

Twenty-eight people were housed through City-funded homeless program in July, a decrease from 41 in June. So far 400 people were housed with the help of this program this year.

The City said the data on the City’s website may vary from other sources based on the definitions and sources used. It is intended to support “evidence-informed action and improvement” within Hamilton’s housing and homelessness system. 

“However, it does not reflect the totality of work and investments undertaken through Housing Services Division (HSD),” according to its website.

The City of Hamilton recently approved its homeless encampment protocol and related plan for tiny shelters. Both plans face opposition from people concerned about having homeless people near their residences and some said they were not consulted about the tiny shelters site.

In an interview with, Ward 4 Councillor Tammy Hwang said council’s support of the protocol and encampment response gives the City a “more clarified process in which we are supporting both the community and those living in camps.”

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