An average of more than 350 people per month slept at a Calgary homeless shelter for the first time during the five years leading up to the pandemic, according to a new study by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy.

It’s an alarming trend, said one of the report’s authors, who noted leaders at each level of government have a role to play in addressing the poverty levels fuelling the crisis.

The study, published Wednesday by Ali Jadidzadeh and Ron Kneebone, found more than 4,200 Calgarians slept at a shelter in 2019 despite having never done so previously.