As the counting of homeless people ends, the politicking begins. I see that the province and the city and homeless advocates are trumpeting the lower homeless numbers, while the Non-Partisan Association has sent out a news release saying that homeless numbers are actually up in Vancouver.
For those who’d prefer just to go to the numbers and see for themselves, reports are below. A short summary, though. Metro Vancouver has done homeless counts in 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011. The city did its own homeless count in 2010, using the same methodology and many of the same staff as Metro Vancouver uses.
In 2005, there were 1,264 homeless people counted in Vancouver, 591 of them on the streets, the rest in shelters.
in 2008, 1,576 homeless people counted, 811 of them on the streets.
In the city’s own 2010 count, there were 1,715 counted, 421 on the streets
In the most recent count, 1,605 counted, 145 on the streets.
The Metro Vancouver reports are here.
The Vancouver report is here.
Just a final reminder: people who do research into homelessness say that the number of people who experience homelessness is four to six times the count on an individual night. Many people cycle in and out of homeless, sometimes just staying in a shelter for a night, sometimes for a week. Metro Vancouver has been unusual is having a very high number of people who are long-term homeless. I’ll be waiting for the full report to see if there’s any change to that.