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


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

Claiming she has COVID-19, stranger coughs in Cloverdale woman’s face

Clayton Heights woman will now self-isolate for the next two weeks

Police watchdog finds cops blameless for deaths in 2019 Surrey hostage-taking

Woman was killed as ERT officers fired on man holding a knife to her throat and ‘what appeared to be’ a gun in his hand

No, Delta police are not pulling over cars to check for social distancing

DPD dispelling rumour cops pulling over vehicles with two or more people, checking IDs, issuing fines

White Rock/South Surrey experts launch website of mental-health resources

Together White Rock/South Surrey aims to help ease the search for supports

B.C. couple celebrates 61st anniversary through seniors’ home window

Frank and Rena Phillips marked occasion at Nanaimo Seniors Village this week while social distancing

A look at some of the B.C. inventors creating life-saving tools in fight against COVID-19

Groups across B.C. are working together to create what they hope will help people affected by the pandemic

Association launches French-language games, online tools for families learning at home

Games, culture and vocabulary included in new virtual resources

‘There can be no ambiguity’: Travellers brought home to B.C. must self-isolate

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the mandatory isolation must be abided by

55+ BC Games cancelled amid COVID-19 concerns

Greater Victoria set to host 2021 event

BC Hydro offers three-month bill ‘holiday’ for those affected by COVID-19

Industrial customers can defer half of their power bills

VIDEO: Dog missing in Lower Mainland since winter sees his family again for the first time

Aldergrove helped find Buster, says dad, who has now witnessed ‘the power of social media’

Some April Fool’s Day jokes bring much-needed laughter; others tone deaf to COVID-19

Police are warning the public not to use the ongoing pandemic as a punchline

Canada’s 75% wage subsidy is coming, but not for several weeks: finance minister

Subsidy will cost Canada $71 billion, but push down cost of emergency benefit, Morneau said

Most Read