Monday, February 9, 2015

Survey Results: Homelessness in Canada

Last week we created a survey about homelessness and sent it out on social media.  We wanted to know what people thought about homelessness, and if some of the opinions relate to the facts we have discovered.  In pairs or alone we created graphs based on the data we gathered.  Depending on the day each person or pair worked on a particular question the data might be different, as the number of people who took our survey changed from day to day.  On the first day, Tuesday February 3rd, we had 23 responses, but by Monday February 9th, we had 40 responses.  

Even though our sample size was small we were able to interpret some of the results, and make some conclusions.  Some of the data and interpretations below are reflective of the day it was collected and may not be the most recent data available.

We met at the carpet as a class and discussed our findings together. Here is our thinking based on the questions we asked:

1. How important do you think the homeless issue is in Canada?
  • On a scale of 1-10, 1 being not important at all and 10 being very important, no one picked 1 or 2 
  • Most people (24/37) picked between 5-10  
  • The two choices picked most often were 4 and 10
We think that this data means that most people think that homelessness is an important issue, but disagree about how just how important it is.

2. How often do you donate/volunteer with organizations that support the homeless?
  • Only 5/33 people say they often support this issue by donating or volunteering.
  • On Wednesday less than one 1/4 of the responders said they occasionally.
Our conclusion is that we are not doing enough to support organizations that work with people who are homeless.

3. Who do you think are most likely to be homeless in Canada?
  • Most people think that people who are 25 years or older are more likely to be homeless.
  • No one thought younger children between 4-11 are likely to be homeless.
Some students thought, based on this data, and the data from question 2, that perhaps the reason people are not helping those who are homeless is because they think the homeless are mostly adults who choose to be homeless, or choose not to get jobs.  

The research we have done tell us a different story.

Some students think the reason that people think adults are more likely to be homeless is because adults are seen more often on the street than youth or children.

4. The municipal government should make more housing available to the homeless.
  • The responses to this statement were very scattered
  • Only slightly more people (20 vs 16) agreed with this statement
We think that there are too many opinions about this statement to make a conclusion, other than to say that this is a controversial topic.

5. Are citizens of Toronto doing enough to end homelessness?
  • 30/40, or 75% of all people who responded, think that we need to do more
We think that it is interesting that so many people think more needs to be done, but so few are donating or volunteering. Some students think people are waiting for others to take action, rather than taking action themselves. Some students think that people may not know how they can help.

Our data has given us a lot to think about.

Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond!
Sample of some of the graphs made by students.  This student wrote her interpretations on the back of the page.

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