White Rock RCMP conducted a point-in-time homelessness count on April 16 and 17, 2021. (White Rock RCMP photo)

White Rock RCMP conducted a point-in-time homelessness count on April 16 and 17, 2021. (White Rock RCMP photo)

Majority of White Rock’s homeless more connected to Surrey: RCMP report

Two-day count conducted in April located four unsheltered individuals; officers identify 24 overall

A recent homelessness count in White Rock identified 24 “unsheltered” individuals in the city, the majority of whom were Caucasian males.

According to a report released by White Rock RCMP Staff Sgt. Kale Pauls Wednesday (May 5), the count – conducted on April 16 and 17 – also concluded that most (18) of the two dozen were more connected to Surrey than the waterfront city itself.

The count captured “point-in-time” information, and did not include individuals living in shelters, transition houses, safe houses or temporarily in other people’s homes.

It was prompted “by our desire to have factual information to share with others that are seeking solutions to advance the voice of this marginalized population,” Pauls told Peace Arch News Thursday.

“Police are not the lead on the homelessness issue, but by virtue of the nearly daily calls we receive and the de facto homelessness outreach work the officers do, we are well versed in the issue,” he added.

Of the 24 individuals identified in the count, just four were located during patrols conducted over the two days in area bushes, parks and alleys and around condos, vacant buildings, parkades and businesses. The rest were identified through canvassing the city’s officers regarding their encounters with homeless individuals over the last two months.

Other findings include:

• 66 per cent (16) of those identified were male;

• 92 per cent were Caucasian;

• 25 per cent had a familial history in White Rock or were previously housed in the city;

• many identified White Rock as being the area south of 24 Avenue;

• the attraction to White Rock included the calm atmosphere, the proximity to the ocean and the availability of outdoor electrical outlets;

• for many, fentanyl or methamphetamine has been a predominant factor in becoming or remaining unsheltered;

• some would not take substance-use treatment if offered, others felt that there was not immediate access to treatment when they were at the point of accepting it;

READ MORE: Bill Fraser Health for excessive mental-health-related police time at White Rock hospital: top cop

• 29 per cent (7) of the individuals had mental-health challenges that the officers believed were so acute that reasonable dialogue was difficult; and,

• approximately one third of the individuals avoided shelters due to conflict with other people, or they found it challenging to stay in a structured environment.

A summary of the count notes that White Rock officers “continue to provide a compassionate service to this marginalized population within the community.”

“Our ongoing participation and communication on this subject, to government and other agencies, is aimed at advancing this complex issue,” the report adds.

‘Vulnerable persons’ was one of five priority areas identified for increased focus in the detachment’s 2020-2023 strategic plan.

“Continuous professional development and constant adaptation of procedures are required to ensure that best practices are being followed, and that police maintain awareness of the lived experiences of marginalized and victimized people,” the report states.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

HomelessRCMPWhite Rock

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP say Gemina Mitchell (inset) was last seen on May 9, 2021. (File photo/Contributed photo)
Missing Surrey woman last seen May 9

Police are asking for help locating Gemina Mitchell

The Cloverdale Flea Market reopened June 20 for the first time in seven months. The market is now open Sundays from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (Photo: Jason Sveinson)
PICTURES: Cloverdale Flea Market reopens

Market was closed for seven months

Musicians perform at Surrey’s Brownsville Bar Park on Saturday, June 19. (submitted photo)
Surrey-area musicians plug in for Saturday-afternoon jams at riverside park

‘We have done this for a month now every weekend, and it draws a socially distanced and safe crowds’

Earl Marriott Mariners football coach Michael Mackay-Dunn (centre, wearing white hat) is retiring from teaching and coaching. (EMS Football photo)
Longtime Earl Marriott Secondary teacher, football coach retires

Michael Mackay-Dunn hangs up coaching whistle after 22 years

William Henry Rawlison was last seen on Sunday, June 20, 2021. (Contributed photo)
Police looking for missing White Rock senior

William Rawlison, last seen on June 20, may be driving to Kamloops

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

Six United Way chapters around the province are merging into United Way B.C. (News Bulletin file photo)
6 United Way chapters merging around B.C.

Money raised in communities will stay in those communities, agency says

Police closed off 16th Avenue between 232nd and 240th streets in Aldergrove Saturday night at the site of a reported motor vehicle accident. (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Survivors of rollover crash thank Good Samaritans for coming to their aid

Collision flipped vehicle into a 10-foot ditch on 16th Avenue in Langley

Val Litwin is the latest candidate to declare his bid for the B.C. Liberal leadership. (Litwin campaign video)
Political newcomer joins contest for B.C. Liberal leadership

Val Litwin a former B.C. Chamber of Commerce CEO

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Golden Ears Mountains, captured in May 2021. (Black Press Media files)
2nd year of day passes required for entry into 5 provincial parks launches in B.C.

Pilot program seeks to protect the environment by addressing visitor surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Lincoln Mckoen. (YouTube)
Anglican bishop of the central Interior resigns over sexual misconduct allegations

Lincoln Mckoen was elected as a bishop of the Territory of the People region last year

The former Kamloops Indian Residential School on the Tk’emlups te Secwépemc reserve. (Allen Douglas/Kamloops This Week)
Tk’emlups preparing for archaeological work at B.C. residential school site where remains found

The 215 graves are, to the band’s knowledge, undocumented deaths for which it is still collecting records

Fans watch the warm-up before Game 6 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Montreal Canadiens in NHL playoff hockey action Saturday, May 29, 2021 in Montreal. Quebec’s easing of COVID-19 restrictions will allow 2,500 fans to attend the game for the first time in fourteen months. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Two-thirds of Canadians say governments shouldn’t lift all COVID-19 restrictions

Poll reports Canadians who gained pandemic weight say they have gained 16 pounds on average

Most Read