It won’t come as a surprise to many, homelessness has increased in our area.

Stratford’s Social Services Department provided the results of an early November homeless enumeration.

118 people without a home in the area took part in a survey with 69 per cent saying they experienced chronic homelessness over the last year.

86 per cent reported having a mental health issue.

The average age of homeless people in the area is 38.

There has also been an increase in encampments both in urban and more remote areas.

Officials say a coordinated response, including service providers, proactive outreach and connection of unsheltered individuals to services, is needed to help address the issue.

The social services team says it will work with partner agencies to find more permanent housing solutions for those who find themselves without a place to call home.