The Vancouver Homeless Count, taking place over 24 hours on March 22 and 23, 2010, will provide the City with updated information for staff as they revise the Homeless Action Plan for the City of Vancouver.
"This count gives us the critical baseline information we need to update our Homeless Action Plan, which will guide the City’s efforts to end street homelessness by 2015," said Mayor Gregor Robertson. "We need updated, detailed information to track our progress."
The count will provide a moment-in-time snapshot of the number of street homeless, demographic profiles and trends compared to previous regional homeless counts in 2002, 2005 and 2008. This is the first stand-alone homeless count in Vancouver.
Close to 300 volunteers will carry out the survey which is modelled on the ones used during past regional homeless counts. As with previous counts, the Vancouver Homeless Count is an estimate and does not enumerate every homeless person in the city. The City will continue to participate in regional counts and will feed this updated count information into that partnership effort.
Since the 1990s, counts show that homelessness has increased significantly in Vancouver and across the region. Between 2005 and 2008, homeless numbers increased 16 per cent in Vancouver.
Preliminary results from the Vancouver Homeless Count will be announced in the coming weeks.
The City of Vancouver, with funding from the Province, opened four temporary homeless shelters this winter as part of its 2010 Winter Response Program. This was in addition to three temporary shelters already operating. All seven shelters are operating at capacity, providing a safe place to sleep for over 500 people a night. Provincial funding for the shelters ends on April 30, 2010.
Photo credit: Jay Black