PH2H co-ordinator

Semiahmoo Peninsula group tries to account for our homeless

The 2017 homeless count was the topic of discussion at the latest PH2H task force monthly meeting Dec. 2.

  • Dec. 9, 2016 12:00 p.m.

The 2017 homeless count was the topic of discussion at the latest Peninsula Homeless to Housing (PH2H) task force monthly meeting last Friday.

The last Metro Vancouver Homeless Count found 403 homeless people in Surrey, which encompasses White Rock.

PH2H members often estimate that the 403 number is about a third of the actual number of homeless people living in Surrey.

The 2017 count will take place March 8.

“There’s been a whole concern with an undercount in Surrey. Since 2008, the number of people who have been interviewed during the homeless count hasn’t gone up. We all know that it’s much worse than it was eight years ago,” said PH2H co-ordinator, Peter Greenwell at the meeting.

Sources Newton Resource Centre advocacy manager, Soraya VanBuskirk, said organizers are in the mapping stage of the count.

New to the effort will be an extended count, which only relates to the Newton area.

“The last count was after Julie Paskall was murdered in Newton (in December 2013). I think there was a really high police presence in Newton on the day of the count. So we actually counted zero homeless people in Newton in the last count,” VanBuskirk said.

VanBuskirk said the homeless count is important because it’s related to the allocation of federal dollars.

“That’s really where the significant longterm impact is from the count. That’s why I think people are having an issue with the one-day count. We know that it’s not an accurate reflection of what’s actually going on,” she added.

VanBuskirk said the count also overestimates long-term homeless people and underestimates short-term homeless people.

A rural component has been added to the 2017 count. It will focus on people living in encampments in outlying areas.

PH2H chairman Neil Fernyhough said one of his concerns with the count is that it tends to be weather-dependent.

“If it’s a nice day, the numbers are up. If it’s a crappy, windy day, the numbers are down. It’s just harder to find people to interview.”

PH2H will know more information of the upcoming count by mid-December, after regional organizers meet to discuss the logistical details.

Task force member Pat Petrala, who said  details of the rural count are still being finalized, noted White Rock’s First United Church is in need of volunteers, particularly for morning shifts, at the extreme weather shelter.

Anyone interested in volunteering may call the church at 604-531-4850.

Just Posted

South Surrey mother guilty of second-degree murder in death of daughter

Lisa Batstone ‘took seven decades of Teagan’s life’

Surrey mom says Liberal budget falls short in helping people with autism

Louise Witt, whose son has autism, says budget provisions like ‘putting a Band-Aid on a cancer’

Missing Surrey woman ‘located and safe,’ police say

Kayla Amy Smith, 30, who was reported missing last month

Surrey’s animal bylaw ‘basically useless,’ says critic

South Surrey senior asks mayor to revisit city’s rules, following dog confrontation

VIDEO: UPDATE: Stolen Bentley nearly causes crash going wrong way on Coquihalla

Owner of Bentley says the vehicle was stolen Thursday and he wants it back

Boy who went missing from park remains largest probe in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Six ‘distraction thefts’ in two days spark warning to seniors by Vancouver police

Distraction thefts are used to steal jewelry off the necks of unsuspecting women

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Protective human chain forms around B.C. mosque for Friday prayer

Vancouver Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read

l -->