The last regional homeless count turned up 403 homeless people in Surrey.

Volunteers needed for regional homeless count

Biggest shortfall is in Surrey as Metro Vancouver gears up for March 8 outreach.

The region is gearing up for its homeless count next month and is calling for volunteers – especially in Surrey – to help make it happen.

Metro Vancouver conducts a homelessness count every three years to determine the size, demographics and scope of the homeless population.

The region and the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) are conducting another day-long Metro Vancouver Homeless Count on Wednesday, March 8.

Most of the volunteers are in place, but 210 are still required, with more than half of the shortfall in Surrey.

In all, 120 more volunteers are needed in Surrey, and 30 are needed in New Westminster, Burnaby and North Vancouver.

The volunteer shifts span two hours on the March 8 day-long count. Those offering their time are also required to take part in an orientation prior to the outreach, which counts people in homeless shelters and on the streets.

“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.”

The last count, conducted in 2014, revealed the number of homeless people in Metro Vancouver rose five per cent from the count done three years prior.

The overall count in the region three years ago was 2,770, up from 2,670 in 2011.

However, the number of absolute street homeless (unsheltered) skyrocketed by 26 per cent to 957 in the region. The bulk of those people (538) were in Vancouver.

Most other areas, including Surrey, saw street homelessness climb by 35 to 40 per cent.

The last count was the fifth enumeration done since the project began in 2002.

Aboriginal people are over-represented, making up 582 of the homeless (31 per cent) counted in 2014.

Roy said there are far-reaching social costs associated with homelessness in this country.

“Homelessness costs the Canadian economy $7 billion per year,” said Roy. “Thousands of people in Metro Vancouver experience homelessness firsthand. 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,” Roy said.

Those interested in volunteering can sign up online at www.bcnpha.ca/call-volunteers/

 

Total homeless in 2014:

• Vancouver: 1,798 (up from 1,581 in 2011)

• Surrey: 403 (up from 400)

• North Shore: 119 (down from 122)

• New Westminster: 104 (down from 132)

• Langley: 92 (down from 103)

• Maple Ridge: 84 (down from 110)

• Tri-Cities: 55 (up from 48)

• Burnaby: 58 (down from 78)

Richmond: 38 (down from 49)

Delta/White Rock: 19 (up from 14)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cloverdale man turns old bed racer into chicken coop

Clayton Heights’ Aaron Grim says repurposed racer ‘easy to clean and easy to collect the eggs’

North Delta crime beat, week of Jan. 4

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

South Delta crime beat, week of Jan. 6

A selection of property crimes submitted weekly by the Delta Police Department

U-Haul truck hits hydro pole, causes power outage in Surrey

Vehicle driving westbound on Fraser Highway

Two-vehicle crash leads to argument in South Surrey

Police investigating after one driver left the scene

‘Like an ATM’: World’s first biometric opioid-dispensing machine launches in B.C.

First-of-its-kind dispensing machine unveiled in the Downtown Eastside with hopes of curbing overdose deaths

Canucks extend home win streak to 8 with 4-1 triumph over Sharks

Victory lifts Vancouver into top spot in NHL’s Pacific Division

BC Green Party leader visits northern B.C. pipeline protest site

Adam Olsen calls for better relationship between Canada, British Columbia and First Nations

B.C. society calls out conservation officer after dropping off bear cub covered in ice

Ice can be seen in video matted into emaciated bear cub’s fur

Horgan cancels event in northern B.C. due to security concerns, says Fraser Lake mayor

The premier will still be visiting the city, but the location and day will not be made public

B.C. landlord sentenced to two years in jail for torching his own rental property

Wei Li was convicted of intentionally lighting his rental property on fire in October 2017

VIDEO: Highway 1 left looking like winter war zone with dozens of stranded vehicles

Tow-truck driver says 30 vehicles still dot snowy landscape, including one rolled-over dairy truck

PHOTOS: Eastern Newfoundland reeling, search underway for missing man after blizzard

More than 70 centimetres of new snow fell overnight, creating whiteout conditions

Prince Harry, Meghan to give up ‘royal highness’ titles

‘Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved members of my family,’ says Queen Elizabeth II

Most Read