Volunteers during the 2017 homeless count in Surrey’s Whalley neighbourhood. (File photo)

‘Urgent’ need for Metro Vancouver homeless count volunteers

Organizers say another 100 people are sought to help in Surrey and Burnaby

Organizers of the upcoming homeless count in Metro Vancouver have issued an urgent appeal for more volunteers in the Surrey and Burnaby regions.

The 2020 Homeless Count is to take place March 3 and 4, and the team is still 100 volunteers short of its 1,200 target, according to a news release issued Wednesday morning.

The count – conducted every three years since 2002 – takes place over a 24-hour period, starting in the evening of March 3 and continuing throughout the day on March 4 (6 a.m. to midnight).

READ MORE: Volunteers needed for 2020 homeless count in Surrey, White Rock, Delta

Training sessions are set for tonight (Feb. 26) and tomorrow (Feb. 27) at Surrey City Hall (6-8 p.m. at 13450 104 Ave.), as well as from 12-2 p.m. Saturday (Feb. 29) and 6-8 p.m. Monday (March 2) at Surrey Centre Library, 10350 University Dr.

Previous experience working with people experiencing homelessness is not required – those new to the effort will be paired with experienced volunteers or outreach workers, the news release notes.

Those interested in getting involved should be compassionate and comfortable approaching strangers for one-on-one conversations; friendly, non-judgmental and have a good sense of humour; and, between 19 and 85 years of age.

Volunteers will start the count in community shelters on the evening of March 3, and continue on the streets on March 4, the release states.

The count – an initiative of the Reaching Home Interim Community Entity, Vancity Community Foundation and the Community Advisory Board – “is such an important tool for people working with individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as those in the community housing sector, and in government,” Jill Atkey, CEO of the BC Non-Profit Housing Association, said in the release.

“The demographic information helps service providers tailor their programs to better meet the needs of the individuals they’re serving, and the trends we see over time are critical for policy development for all levels of government and the non-profit groups that are working to prevent and end homelessness.”

In 2017, the count identified 3,605 people experiencing homelessness in Metro Vancouver, including 46 in White Rock/Delta.

READ MORE: Homeless count more than doubles in White Rock/Delta

It’s delivered in partnership with the Indigenous Reaching Home Community Entity, the Indigenous Homelessness Steering Committee and the Council of Community Homelessness Tables.

For more information, visit vancitycommunityfoundation.ca/initiative/2020-homeless-count



tholmes@peacearchnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HomelessSurreyWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP not seeing ‘significant loss’ in ranks because of COVID-19

Surrey Mounties say they have a good tracking system to keep tabs on police officers experiencing an illness

Supreme Court upholds White Rock council decision on Lady Alexandra development

Planned 12-storey highrise on lower Johnston Road was stalled in 2018

‘Potentially life-threatening’ injuries in South Surrey crash

152 Street closed in both directions between Colebrook Road and 40 Avenue

No final high school game for Surrey all-stars; six scholarship winners named

COVID-19 forces cancellation of all-star games for boys and girls at Enver Creek gym April 3

B.C. records five new COVID-19 deaths, ‘zero chance’ life will return to normal in April

Province continue to have a recovery rate of about 50 per cent

John Horgan extends B.C.’s state of emergency for COVID-19

Premier urges everyone to follow Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice

B.C.’s first community COVID-19 death was dentist ‘dedicated’ to health: lawyer

Vincent was 64 when he died on March 22 after attending the Pacific Dental Conference

UPDATE: 6.5-magnitude earthquake in Idaho shakes B.C. Interior

An earthquake was reportedly felt just before 5 p.m. throughout the Okanagan

Two inmates at prison housing Robert Pickton test positive for COVID-19

Correctional Service of Canada did not release any details on the identities of the inmates

BC heart surgery patient rarely leaves home

James Jepson is especially vulnerable to the novel coronavirus

BC SPCA launches matching campaign to help vulnerable animals after big donations

Two BC SPCA donors have offered up to $65,000 in matching donations

Anti-tax group calls for MPs, senators to donate scheduled pay raises to charity

Bill C-30, adopted 15 years ago, mandates the salary and allowance increases each calendar year

Two arrested after man lies about COVID-19 illness to stay in Victoria Airbnb for free

Victoria Police found stolen goods inside the occupied unit

Most Read