A recent Point-in-Time homeless count in Sooke produced numbers higher than expected, with results showing 38 homeless people. Another count is being conducted province-wide. Here is the provincial information, which, together with other homeless counts, will inform an action plan.
The Province will co-ordinate homeless counts in up to 12 communities during March and April to help inform B.C.’s Homelessness Action Plan, which will focus on permanent housing and services.
Homeless counts provide vital information, including the demographics and service needs of people experiencing homelessness. They also help establish a benchmark to measure the progress made to reduce homelessness over time.
A provincial picture of homelessness will be developed based on:
- information gathered in the provincially funded counts;
- data from homeless counts being conducted in other communities this year;
- counts completed in 2017; and
- information from other sources, such as shelters.
Homelessness has long been an urban issue. But over the last few years, smaller communities have seen increases in the number of people who are homeless, or at risk of homelessness, due to high housing costs and lack of affordable housing.
The Homelessness Services Association of BC has been contracted to co-ordinate the provincial count and will partner with the BC Non-Profit Housing Association and Urban Matters to support communities and compile the results.
The Province is investing $550,000 to fund the counts in the 12 communities, and plans to report on the preliminary results by early summer. The Homelessness Action Plan is expected to be released later this year.
- Communities participating in the 2018 provincially funded counts:
- Campbell River – April 13
- Comox Valley – March 7
- Cranbrook – To be scheduled
- Fort St. John – April 18
- Merritt – April 4
- Parksville and Qualicum Beach – April 18
- Penticton – April 23
- Port Alberni – April 11
- Prince Rupert – March 21
- Sechelt – April 23
- Smithers – April 24
- Williams Lake – March 26
- The Province will compile the data from the provincially funded counts with counts from the following communities, conducted in 2017: Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley Regional District, Duncan, Vernon. Combined, this will capture approximately 85% of the population.
- Six B.C. communities that receive funding through the federal government’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy (HPS) will conduct homeless counts in 2018: Victoria, Kelowna, Kamloops, Nanaimo, Nelson, Prince George.
- As part of Budget 2018, the B.C. government has announced funding for 2,500 new supportive housing units for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. That is in addition to 2,000 modular housing units with 24/7 support that government announced in September 2017.
- Provincial homeless counts
- B.C.’s Poverty Reduction Strategy
- Learn more about modular housing
- 2017 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count
- 2017 Fraser Valley Regional District Homeless Survey Results
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