Since 2002, the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness (RSCH) has conducted a region-wide count of homeless individuals every three years. The most recent count was in 2011 and planning is underway for 2014. The main purpose of the homeless count is to enumerate and learn more about the homeless population in the Metro Vancouver region. Specific objectives include:
- Estimating the number of people who are homeless;
- Obtaining a demographic profile of people who are surveyed or enumerated during the count; and
- Identifying long-term trends in the number and profile of people who are homeless.
Service providers, planners, community groups, health authorities, municipalities and funders, use count data to assist in policy development, planning, and prioritizing programs and services to address the needs of people who are homeless. The count is also used for public education and to increase awareness about homelessness and its solutions.