Homeless counts have taken place across the Metro Vancouver region every three years since 2002. The City of Vancouver 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.
The Homeless Count logo is provided by the Homelessness Services Association of BC (HSABC) External web site, opens in new tab . 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.
What's happeningUpdate on Homeless Count 2021
Every year, we conduct a homeless count to provide critical information on the number and circumstances of people experiencing homelessness, and to see how this population is changing over time. We are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers that have been involved every year – it couldn't be done without them.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the need to minimize any risk of transmission, the 2021 Homeless Count is not possible.
Staff will be collecting alternative data to provide insight into the state of homelessness in Vancouver in 2021, and will be reporting on the results to Council in the fall.
2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver
2020's homeless count took place in shelters on March 3 and on the street on March 4 all day. Thank you to everyone who volunteered – we couldn’t have done the count without you.
- City of Vancouver results PDF file (21 MB)
- Metro Vancouver results External website, opens in new tab
The 2020 Metro Vancouver count found that in Vancouver:
- 2,095 residents identified as homeless
- 547 people were living on the street
- 1,548 people were living in sheltered locations, including emergency shelters, detox centres, safe houses, and hospitals, with no fixed address