Friday, December 2, 2011

Geography Files & Social Service Locations Data for Hamilton

Question

For my project I would like to correlate low-income individuals/families with social service locations (e.g. location of homeless shelters) to determine whether there are enough services in poor areas of Hamilton.

- An ArcGIS compatible shapefile that has census tract divisions (would be ideal)

- Shapefiles of (some or all):
         - Location of homeless shelters
         - Location of food banks
         - Community housing
         - Employment centres/job banks "

Answer

To start, homeless shelter data can be acquired from the City of Hamilton, the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton and HRSDC. The database of homeless shelter & demographics is called HIFIS and it is managed by the HRSDC Homelessness Secretariat.  An individual at SPRCH may also be able to connect you with the homelessness coordinator in Hamilton.  The contact at the City, who is a member of the Community Data Consortium, has also been included.

There are no geographic files for shelters, although the Social Planning Council may have done their own geocoding as may have the city. They may not have geocoded women's shelters and family shelters as these are kept as hidden as possible in order to protect the women and children in those shelters.

Homeless Individuals and Families Information System (HIFIS)
Contacting them here -
http://www.hrsdc.gc.ca/cgi-bin/rhdcc-hrsdc/contact/contact_us.asp?section=hifis_initiative
Homelessness Partnering Secretariat
Human Resources and Skills Development Canada
140 Promenade du Portage, 6th Floor,
Gatineau, Qu├ębec K1A 0J9

You can also download from Revenue Canada a list of Charity organizations by province which you could also map. More specifically, you can ask Revenue Canada for the list of charity organisations from Form T3010, this will provide you all you are looking for except shapefiles.  You can ask them for Hamilton only or all of Ontario or all of Canada. It comes as an access database.

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