Metro Vancouver homeless count resumes after pandemic break

Metro Vancouver homeless count resumes after pandemic break

The Homeless Services Association of British Columbia (HSABC) has announced the start of 24hourPointinTime counts to take place across 11 municipalities in the Lower Mainland of British Columbia. The count will include volunteers who will strive to gain an understanding of who is living without adequate, affordable and appropriate housing, and why they are in this situation.

Homeless count

Volunteers resume Metro Vancouver homeless count after pandemic pause.

The count is a way to measure thehidden homeless‘, such as those who live in vehicles or couch surfers, who are likely to be underrepresented in the count. This can be addressed by encouraging those who fall in this category to call 211 to complete an anonymous survey.

The data from the count will then be compiled and analyzed in a report to be released in the fall of 2021. It will measure how the number and type of people experiencing homelessness has changed since the 2020 count, which identified 3,634 people in Metro Vancouver who were experiencing homelessness.

David Wells, chair of the Indigenous Homelessness Steering Committee, acknowledges that Indigenous people are more likely to experience homelessness compared to their numbers in the general population. He says that homeless people are at greater risk of racism, misogyny and other forms of oppression, which is something that happens in all communities.

In addition to the pointintime count in the Lower Mainland, a similar count has taken place in Greater Victoria and the Sunshine Coast, and similar counts are planned for other cities and towns, from Quesnel and Williams Lake to Salmon Arm, Cranbrook and Port Alberni.

The PointinTime count is an important way of gaining insight into the homeless population in British Columbia. It provides valuable information to communities, as well as all levels of government, to make informed and compassionate decisions that can help provide pathways out of homelessness. It also provides a way to measure the effects of the pandemic, inflation and the housing crisis on the homeless community.


For the first time, Metro Vancouver has included a virtual option in its homeless count.

The HSABC believes that it is important to recognize that everyone deserves to have a safe and secure place to live. Counts such as this one should be commended for their efforts in providing necessary data to help those who are experiencing homelessness.

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