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Volunteers to conduct homeless count in Vancouver

Last Updated Mar 12, 2019 at 10:50 am PDT

(iStock Photo)

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – More than 400 volunteers will be spanning across Vancouver on Tuesday night and Wednesday, counting the number of people who don’t have a home.

Celine Mauboules is with the Homelessness Services Association of B.C., which is doing the count for the City.

She explains volunteers only tally the people who agree to answer a few questions.

“It is a point-in-time count — it’s widely acknowledged that it’s an under count,” she says. “We’re not going to be able to find everyone that’s experiencing homelessness, and not everyone that we find will want to be surveyed, so we do recognize that it is an under count.”

Last year’s count found nearly 2,200 people without an address, which is an increase of about 330 over the count in 2016.

Mauboules says once the count is complete, volunteers will put a report together and present it to the city.

“A lot of planning goes into the execution of the count,” she explains. “We work with all of the city’s outreach teams and staff. We came together in the new year and we identified known locations where they work with people that are experiencing homelessness to make sure that we’re sending volunteers there during the count.”

She says an added benefit is that extreme weather response shelters will be open in response to the cold temperatures, giving staff another location to go.

“It’s typically easier to find folks when they’re inside, and that’s the one caveat with the count.”