Homeless Count volunteer

Homeless Count

Homelessness Services Association of BC  Homeless Count logo

The Homeless Count logo is provided by the Homelessness Services Association of BC (HSABC) . HSABC was established through a merger of GVSS and Shelter Net BC.

Its mandate is to strengthen and unify services across BC that are addressing the needs of persons experiencing homelessness. 

Homeless counts have taken place across the Metro Vancouver region every three years since 2002. We started conducting an annual count in 2010. Each year, the count takes place throughout the city over a 24 hour period in March, inside shelters during the evening, and on the streets the next day.

Although counts do not give us a full picture of the extent of homelessness, the counts provide critical information on the number and characteristics of the homeless population, and how this population has changed over time.

Volunteers play a key role in homeless counts. Each year we recruit and train over 400 volunteers to participate in the count. This involves conducting a brief anonymous survey with people who are homeless.

2019 Homeless Count: March 12 and 13

We are currently recruiting volunteers for this year's Homeless Count.

The shelter count will be carried out in emergency shelters during the evening of Tuesday, March 12.

The street count will take place during the day on Wednesday, March 13, and may involve walking around a neighbourhood.

Shifts will be two to three hours long, and volunteers are required to attend a two-hour training session in late February or early March 2019. Volunteers must be 19 years of age or older.

Apply to be a volunteer

We are looking for people who:

  • Are compassionate, accepting, and comfortable with one-on-one conversations
  • Have a friendly, non-judgmental attitude and a good sense of humour

 Apply by Wednesday, February 20, and please tell your friends.

 This year, we are using a new volunteer application system that will ask you to create a profile with a username and password. Even if you have volunteered for previous counts, you will need to create a profile this year. 

Apply now

Thank you for applying and helping to recruit others.

Previous Homeless Counts

2018 Homeless Count

Last year's homeless count took place in shelters on March 13 in the evening, and on the street on March 14 during the day. Thank you to everyone who volunteered; we couldn't do the count without you.

The Homelessness Services Department presented the 2018 Homeless Count results to Council on May 1.

The 2018 count found:

  • 2,181 residents are facing homelessness in the city.
    • 659 people were living on the street.
    • 1,522 people were living in sheltered locations, including emergency shelters, detox centres, safe houses and hospitals, with no fixed address.

2018 Homeless Count in Vancouver final report  (2.6 MB)

Read the 2018 Aboriginal Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver report 

Past Homeless Count reports

Have questions?