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Call for volunteers to help with Metro Vancouver's homeless count

The BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) is seeking volunteers for the 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver on March 7 and 8.

The BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) and its partners are seeking volunteers to help with the 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver on March 7 and 8.

Some 1,200 volunteers are needed to conduct the count, and there is a specific need for volunteers in the Surrey, Burnaby, New Westminster and North Shore areas of Metro Vancouver.

“The homeless count is a key part of the effort to eliminate homelessness,” said Kishone Roy, CEO of BCNPHA. “It will give us a sense of the numbers of homeless, the demographics, and the trends. And it will allow us to understand where gaps in the system are and what future services might be needed.”

Homeless counts take place in Metro Vancouver every three years and every year in the City of Vancouver. BCNPHA is conducting the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count 2017 on behalf of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s community entity, Metro Vancouver.

“Homelessness costs the Canadian economy $7 billion per year,” Roy said. “Thousands of people in Metro Vancouver experience homelessness first hand, but the societal impacts of homelessness are far-reaching and impact everyone in our communities.

“By participating as a volunteer, by being part of the conversation about affordable housing, you can help solve homelessness and reduce the human costs and the costs to society.”

The information from the homeless count helps with policy development, planning, and prioritizing programs and services to address the needs of people who are homeless.

Volunteer shifts during the 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver 2017 run for two hours and are needed particularly during the day on March 8 for the street count. Volunteers must also attend a two-hour orientation session in their home community.

Those interested in volunteering can sign up online at