Updated figures from the BC Coroners Service show a big spike in the number of deaths among homeless persons in 2016.
The coroners’ report says there were 175 deaths among homeless individuals in 2016, a 140 per cent increase from the year before, with 73 in 2015.
The average number of homeless deaths in B.C. increased from 41 between 2007 and 2015 to 55 with 2016 figures now compiled.
The BC Coroners Service says 53 per cent of individuals met criteria for street homelessness and 36 per cent for sheltered homelessness, and 85 per cent of those who died were males.
The service says there are many definitions of homelessness and information in the report includes deaths among homeless persons living outdoors, sheltered homeless and individuals residing in short-term shelters, safe-house or transition-house accommodation for an unknown length of time.
The 61 per cent rate of accidental deaths in 2016 is higher than the overall rate since 2007, which is 56 per cent.
That’s followed by deaths classified as natural at 23 per cent, and 11 per cent caused by suicide.
There were 25 homeless deaths in Vancouver Island health authority in 2016, with 16 in Victoria for the third-highest total among municipalities.
Vancouver had 43 homeless deaths in 2016 and there were 17 in Surrey.