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City’s Annual Homelessness Count to take place March 12 and 13

February 14 2013

"We’ve seen a big drop in street homelessness in Vancouver over the past four years, with a 62 per cent decrease since 2008," said Mayor Gregor Robertson

Person on street

The seventh Vancouver Homeless Count will take place Tuesday 12 March  and Wednesday 13 March 2013. The information gathered will be used to help Vancouver track progress toward achieving City Council’s goal of ending street homelessness by 2015.

“We’ve seen a big drop in street homelessness in Vancouver over the past four years, with a 62 per cent decrease since 2008,” said Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The numbers have stabilized but we know from our four winter shelters filling up to capacity, and waiting lists for new social housing, that there is more work to do. The count provides us with valuable data so that we can closely track our progress in ending street homelessness by 2015.”

Homeless counts have been conducted in the Metro Vancouver region every three years since 2002. The City of Vancouver started annual counts in 2010.

The 2013 Vancouver Homeless Count is modeled after past counts in its approach and methodology. Experienced volunteers speak with those in shelters and on the street to ask questions in order to gather data on age, gender, income source and health conditions. 

“The City is grateful for the experienced volunteers and many agencies and service providers who continue to support the successful implementation of the count,” the Mayor added.

City Council received its first-ever Housing and Homelessness Report Card this week, detailing the progress made on Vancouver’s 2011-2021 Affordable Housing and Homelessness Strategy. The report card found that that the City is already 84 per cent of the way towards achieving its 2015 goal of new supportive housing.

Steps taken by the City to address housing and homelessness include:

  • opening 160 winter response beds for people who are homeless, in partnership with BC Housing;
  • securing an additional 100 interim housing units at 395 Kingsway, in partnership with BC Housing;
  • opening a Rent bank in partnership with StreetoHome, Network of Inner City Community Services Society (NICCSS), Vancouver Foundation and Vancity to support renters in crisis with short-term loans;
  • approving up to 56 new units of supportive housing at the city-owned Taylor Manor, which will be funded through a generous anonymous benefactor in conjunction with the Kettle Friendship Society;
  • purchasing the Ramada Inn, which will provide social housing for over 100 residents at 3484 Kingsway;
  • launching the inter-jurisdictional SRO task force to address issues about standards of maintenance in single room occupancy hotels; and
  • launching an online rental database, allowing renters to make informed choices on safe housing, as well as pursuing four legal injunctions against landlords who fail to comply with building orders.

The City is also providing 22 units of new family housing with the YWCA at Strathcona library.

Preliminary results from the homeless count will be made available about three weeks after the count. For more information on how information from the homeless count is used, go to Preliminary results from the homeless count will be made available about three weeks after the count.

Find out how we are trying to end street homelessness by 2015