There are more people sleeping on the street now then there have been in years.

That’s according to Eric Jonsson, a social worker and program coordinator for the Navigator Street Outreach Program, which provides support to motivated street-involved and homeless people.

“It’s the largest number of people sleeping outside in Halifax in the last few years that I’ve been working here,” says Jonsson.

He says some of the people who used to live in hotels are now on the street after a program that provided the temporary housing ran out of funding late last month.

The Brock Mission men’s homeless shelter and the city’s emergency overflow shelter that moved to the Sport and Wellness Centre in March at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic will be moving back downtown, the city announced Thursday.

The temporary Brock Mission shelter will move back to space in a wing at St. Paul’s Presbyterian Church at 120 Murray St. until completion of the new $6.3-million Brock Mission building being built at 217 Murray St., which will have 30 emergency beds and 15 small rental units but is now not expected to be ready until May because of delays related to COVID-19.

The city’s emergency overflow shelter will move back to space at the Murray Street Baptist Church at 175 Murray St.

The executive director of Victoria’s Native Friendship Centre says his staff are reeling after two guests at the centre — which operates as a seasonal shelter — died within days of the shelter shutting down for the season.

Ron Rice says it’s been an exceptionally difficult time.

“There’s certainly a lot of anger and hopelessness and a big dose of guilt. If we had stayed open for one more month, would this have happened?” Rice said to host Kathryn Marlow on CBC’s All Points West.

The curve is flattening. Businesses are starting up again. The sun is out. People are starting to imagine a post-COVID world. And, in this new world, will we take the lessons of the past several months to implement progressive policies to confront the societal wrongs exposed by the pandemic?

Food insecurity was a crisis before COVID-19 hit and rapidly became even worse since the lockdown. Between mid-March and the end of April, food bank use rates tripled. A line graph would reveal that visits to food banks follow an overall upward trajectory with visits during certain points as much as six times higher compared to the same period last year.

Huron County is forming a regional Homelessness Task Force to tackle the rural area’s growing crisis.

The committee, set to begin meeting next week, comes after Goderich Mayor John Grace sounded the alarm about a sharp spike in visible homelessness in the town.

About 11 people are currently sleeping rough, and as many as 21 are being provided shelter in a local hotel. Exeter has also seen a recent rise in visible homelessness.

A disproportionate number of Indigenous respondents are struggling financially and say they lack trust in the federal government’s plans to reopen the economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

According to a new report released by Statistics Canada, over one-third (36%) of Indigenous respondents said the pandemic had a “strong or moderate” impact on their ability to pay for essentials, including rent, mortgage payments, utilities and groceries.

By contrast, only 25% of non-Indigenous respondents said the same.

An organizer behind two recent tent cities in Vancouver is calling on the provincial and federal governments to create “refugee-style” camps, in the wake of a decision that allows people to camp overnight in parks.

The Vancouver Park Board passed a motion late Tuesday which includes provisions to “more effectively manage temporary structures and tents for those seeking shelter in parks.”

The board says the move reflects recent B.C. Supreme Court decisions recognizing the charter right to stay in public spaces when adequate shelter is not available.