These pages share information about people experiencing homelessness who are entering and leaving the City of Toronto shelter system each month, including the number of unique people who have used the shelter system at least one time in the past three months and are considered to be actively experiencing homelessness.

The data will help the City and our community partners measure progress towards the vision of ensuring experiences with homelessness in Toronto are rare, brief, and non-recurring.

The indicators in this data provide a more comprehensive picture of people using the shelter system than traditional measures, such as the Daily Shelter Occupancy Reports, which focus on nightly occupancy and capacity.

This data is updated on a monthly schedule and can be found on our Open Data website.

Data Source & Frequency

The data for the Shelter System Flow dashboards are captured through an information management system used to operate shelters, 24-hour respite sites, and other allied services including warming centres that are funded by the City of Toronto. The data include people who have used one of those services in the past three months.

Over time, the data will be expanded to include more people, such as people sleeping outdoors and people using overnight homelessness services that are not funded by the City of Toronto, to provide more comprehensive picture of all people experiencing homelessness in Toronto. Based on the most recent Street Needs Assessment, we estimate that approximately 18 per cent of people experiencing absolute homelessness in Toronto are not currently reflected in this data.

Data for each month will be published on the 15th day of following month and will also be available on the Open Data portal.

Key Data

The key data included in the dashboards are described below.

People who are entering the shelter system (Inflow):

  • Newly Identified: People who entered the shelter system for the first time.
  • Returned from Permanent Housing: People who previously used the shelter system, then moved to permanent housing, and have now returned.
  • Returned to Shelter: People who were previously using the shelter system, then did not use the system for 3 months or longer, and have now returned. Some other communities may call this indicator “Returned from Inactive”

People who are leaving the shelter system (Outflow):

  • Moved to Permanent Housing: People who were using the shelter system and have moved to permanent housing.
  • No Recent Shelter Use: People who were using the shelter system previously, but have not used the shelter system in the past three months. Some other communities may call this indicator “Moved to Inactive”.

People who are Actively Experiencing Homelessness:

People who have used the shelter system at least one time in the past three months and did not move to permanent housing.

Sub-population data

The data can be filtered by sub-populations including: Chronically Homeless, Families, Single Adult, Unaccompanied Youth, Refugees. More information about these sub- populations is available through Open Data portal.

  • Chronic (refers to chronic homelessness): People who meet one of the two following criteria, as per the federal definition of chronic homelessness. The person has recorded a minimum of 180 overnight stay in the past year (365 days); or the person has recurrent overnight stays over the past three years with a cumulative duration of at least 546 nights
  • “Newly identified” as chronically homeless refers to people who became chronically homeless in the reporting month

Demographic data

Demographic information currently available in the data includes age and gender. Over time, the demographic information will be expanded to include racial identity, Indigenous identity, and veteran status.

Using the Shelter System Flow Data

  • To view summary data for the current reporting month, go to the Monthly Snapshot dashboard.
  • To view data prior to the current reporting month, and to filter data by sub- populations:
    • Go to Historical Trends dashboard.
    • Click on the arrow to the right of the text box and select from the drop down menu to filter data by sub-populations and time periods.
    • Only one sub-population can be selected at a time as this data are not mutually exclusive.
    • Multiple months may be selected to view historical data.