The 2020 Point-in-Time Count found at least 1,523 people were experiencing homelessness in the CRD. (Kendra Crighton/News Staff)

Greater Victoria Point-in-Time count finds more than 1,500 people homeless

Capital Regional District says count should be treated as an underestimate

The results of the 2020 Greater Victoria Point-in-Time Count show as of March 11, more than 1,500 people in the Capital Regional District (CRD) were homeless.

Released by the CRD in partnership with the Community Social Planning Council and the Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness, the Point-in-Time Count found 1,523 people homeless in the region compared to 1,525 in March 2018. The biennial count is funded by the federal government and follows counts made in 2016 and 2018.

According to the CRD, these numbers do not suggest a trend due to the changing methodology of the count and should be considered an “underestimate” as some individuals value their privacy and prefer not to participate in the count. Other people experiencing hidden homelessness are hard to reach and therefore would not be included in this count.

READ ALSO: Greater Victoria homelessness count only sees ‘tip of the iceberg’

“The survey results are indicative of the vulnerability to homelessness people experience because of structural factors such as poverty, stigma and discrimination, a lacking in some key resources to address complex human needs and a lack of choice when trying to find safe and adequate housing with the proper supports,” said Kelly Roth, Greater Victoria Coalition to End Homelessness executive director, in a statement.

The results will be used with ongoing shelter-use data and information gathered through planning for the creation of a Coordinated Assessment and Access service and Homelessness Information System which will improve service delivery, real-time reporting of homelessness levels and help achieve better outcomes for homeless individuals.

READ ALSO: Victoria granted injunction to move tenters in Beacon Hill Park to less sensitive areas

“The count results are instrumental in guiding the housing, social supports and health supports community in its planning processes to ensure that resources are invested in areas of greatest need,” added Christine Culham, CRD senior manager regional housing.

The CRD is working with BC Housing and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to deliver the Regional Housing First Program, a $120 million partnership that will fund the development of 400 units of housing offered at social assistance shelter rates to address the needs of people experiencing chronic homelessness in the region.

For more information on the count, go to crd.bc.ca/about/what-we-do/regional-housing/research-and-planning.


 

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