Guelph-Wellington - 2021 Everyone Counts


What is Homelessness? 

Homelessness is a broad term that encompasses the following:

  • Unsheltered: Living on the streets or in places not intended for human habitation
  • Emergency sheltered: Staying in overnight shelters for people who are homeless, as well as shelters for those impacted by family violence
  • Provisionally accommodated: Those whose accommodation is temporary or lacks security of tenure
  • Risk of homelessness: Referring to people who are not homeless, but whose current economic and/or housing situation is precarious or does not meet public health and safety standards.

Chronic Homelessness

Adults, youth and families experience chronic homelessness when they have been homeless for at least 6 months.  

By-Name-List (BNL)

A By-Name-List (BNL) is a real-time list of all people experiencing homelessness. The BNL helps service providers prioritize need, track the status change as individuals and families move in and out of homelessness and inform action as we move towards ending chronic homelessness in our community.

What is a Point-in-Time (PiT) Count?

A Point-in-Time (PiT) count is a community-level measure of sheltered and unsheltered homelessness that provides a snapshot of the minimum number of individuals experiencing homelessness on a single night. Typically they are completed every couple of years by communities across Ontario and Canada, following the same methods and standards, which allow some flexibility to adapt the methodology for unique local contexts.

The County of Wellington (the County), in partnership with the Poverty Task Force of Guelph-Wellington (PTFGW) and community partners have carried out Point-in-Time (PiT) counts for the Guelph-Wellington area in 2016, 2018 and again most recently in 2021, known as Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts. 

A PiT count is one of several tools communities can use to understand the scope and extent of homelessness locally.

Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts


The Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts survey was conducted over a two-day period across Guelph and Wellington County as part of a coordinated Canada-wide count of individuals experiencing homelessness. The purpose of the G-W Everyone Counts survey is to provide a snapshot of the population experiencing homelessness in our community on one particular day. The snapshot includes an estimate of the number of people experiencing homelessness on a given day, as well as information about certain demographic characteristics and information about the needs of people experiencing homelessness.


The G-W Everyone Counts Survey was planned and carried out in collaboration with community service agencies that make up the homeless serving system, Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC), and in partnership with the Poverty Task Force of Guelph-Wellington (PTFGW).

The Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts enumeration survey of homelessness uses a Point-in-Time Count methodology to count sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night. The survey is voluntary and asks participants about where they stayed on the night of October 20, 2021, their experiences of homelessness as well as  health-related and demographic questions.

Thank you to Guelph-Wellington community partners!

We would like to take a moment to thank everyone who helped to plan and carry out the Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts enumeration survey, including the following community agencies and organizations: Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Waterloo Wellington; Community Resource Centre of Centre and North Wellington (CRA); County of Wellington; East Wellington Community Services (EWCS); Family & Children’s Services of Guelph & Wellington County; Guelph Community Health Centre (GCHC); Guelph Police Service; Guelph & Wellington Task Force for Poverty Elimination (GWPTF); Hope House; Royal City Mission; Rural Wellington Community Team; Southwest Ontario Aboriginal Health Access Centre (SOAHAC); Stepping Stone; Stonehenge; Women in Crisis; and Wyndham House.

What's new for 2021?

For the first time, a unique identifier was integrated into the survey which allowed staff to identify and count individuals experiencing homelessness who did not complete the survey and were known to be staying in emergency or domestic violence shelters on October 20, 2021 as well as those actively homeless on the Guelph-Wellington By-Name-List (BNL) in October. The unique identifier was used to ensure no one was counted more than once.

Carrying out a PiT Count of homelessness in the midst of the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic presented a unique set of additional challenges for Guelph-Wellington  Everyone Counts. Changes in how the 2021 Count was carried out compared to previous count in 2018 means the results are not directly comparable. 

Results of Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts

The results of the Everyone Counts Point-in-Time count represents an estimate of the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in Guelph-Wellington on the day of the survey. The total number includes the number of individuals who completed the survey (n=161) plus the dependent children identified in the survey (n=24) as well as other individuals known to be experiencing homelessness who did not complete the survey (n=85).

The minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in Guelph-Wellington on October 20,2021

The results of the Everyone Counts survey are based on responses of individuals who completed the Everyone Counts survey (n=161) and do not include information about the additional 85 individuals. The responses given by survey participants are summarized and presented in a format that helps us understand more about some of the characteristics of participants and their experiences of homelessness.

Click on the card below to view an infographic summary document for all 161 individuals
who completed the 2021 Everyone Counts survey:

In addition, we have prepared one-page summaries of results for County, Youth and Indigenous Everyone Counts survey participants.

To view these infographic summaries please click on the cards below:

How results will be used

Results from Point-in-Time count enumeration activities like Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts are an opportunity for learning – for service providers to better understand the experiences and needs of individuals in their community who are experiencing homelessness.

By sharing the information collected, we can raise the public’s awareness of the extent of homelessness locally. The results of the Guelph-Wellington 2021 Everyone Counts is the starting point for conversations, collaborations and renewed commitment to prevent and end homelessness.


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