Province conducting homeless counts to assist action plan

Province conducting homeless counts to assist action plan

File photo.

File photo.

The province is spending $550,000 to coordinate homeless counts in 12 communities, including a few on Vancouver Island, to help provide a picture of homelessness in B.C.

Information from the counts, along with data from counts in other communities, will give the B.C. Homelessness Action Plan information on the demographics and service needs of people who live without a home.

It will also be used to measure progress made to reduce homelessness over time.

A count has already occurred in the Comox Valley March 7, with data to be compiled in Port Alberni April 11 and Campbell River April 13.

A count will be taken in Parksville and Qualicum Beach April 18.

The province says smaller communities are seeing increased numbers of people who are homeless or risk being without a home, due to high housing costs and a lack of affordable housing.

“Good solutions require good data. That’s where these counts come in,” Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson said in a release.

“Through these counts, we can get better data on the extent of the challenge in each region, giving us the information we need to plan future housing solutions.”

In the 2018 budget, the B.C. government announced funding for 2,500 new supportive housing units for people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness.

Data will also be taken from homeless counts in 2017, including Duncan, to help make up 85 per cent of the population.

Victoria and Nanaimo were included in federal funding from Ottawa’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy to conducts counts.

Preliminary results are expected in the summer, with the release of the Homelessness Action Plan anticipated for later this year.

Andy NealAndy Neal

Recent Stories

Send us your news tips and videos!