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HomeBreaking NewsHalifax homelessness crisis: What governments are doing and why advocates say more...

Halifax homelessness crisis: What governments are doing and why advocates say more is needed

'Quick read' news summary

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on homelessness in Halifax. Here is Part 1, which includes interviews with unhoused people and service providers.

As the number of unhoused people continues to grow in Nova Scotia, municipal and provincial officials say they’re working to get people off the street as quickly as possible.

But with no set target dates and winter setting in, service providers and outreach workers say time is of the essence.

“Winter is here. The ground is cold, the ground is frozen,” Nathan Doucet, an outreach worker with Out of the Cold Community Association, said in a recent interview.

“I’m worried that we’re going to see loss of life. I’m worried that we’re going to see loss of limbs.”

According to the latest numbers from the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, there are at least 734 actively homeless people in the Halifax area alone. That number was 467 at this time last year.

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Data is sparse outside of Halifax, but it’s estimated there are hundreds more unhoused people in other areas of the province.

Karla MacFarlane, Nova Scotia’s minister of community services, told Global News that the increase in homelessness in recent years is “disappointing,” noting that the housing crisis is affecting communities across the country.

“It certainly is something that we take very seriously,” she said.

“Our government has made significant investments to ensure that there (are) emergency shelters and supportive housing across the province, and we’ll continue making those necessary investments.”

MacFarlane pointed to the Overlook – a supportive housing project at a former hotel in Dartmouth – as one example. MacFarlane said they are working on moving people in now.

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The first project of its kind in Nova Scotia, the Overlook is supported by the province, as well as the federal and municipal governments through the Rapid

This is Part 2 of a two-part series on homelessness in Halifax. Here is Part 1, which includes interviews with unhoused people and service providers. According to the latest numbers from the Affordable Housing Association of Nova Scotia, there are at least 734 actively homeless people in the Halifax area alone.

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