The North Shore Homelessness Task Force (NSHTF) has released the North Shore Homelessness Service Use Data Report that details the number of people who are homeless who accessed services in one of the North Shore communities in 2016. Based on a solid data gathering process, the report found 736 unique individuals were homeless at some point in 2016.
The Metro Vancouver Homeless Count, a point-in- time count which is completed on the North Shore every three years, found only 100 homeless people in shelters and on the street on March 8th, 2017. This is a relatively low number for the North Shore compared to other homeless counts since 2002.
“Point-in- Time count data allows us to establish trends over time and track our overall progress.” Says Peer-Daniel Krause, Policy Manager at BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “At the same time we know that it is a one-day snapshot, always an undercount and does not account for the fact that people fall in and also come out of homelessness over time. Comprehensive service use data as collected by the NSHTF gives us a sense of what is happening over the course of a year.”
The need for supplemental data to the Homeless Count was borne out of NSHTF members’ assertion that the actual number of homeless individuals on any given day is far greater than the 100 counted during the point-in- time count.
“The organizations that make up the NSHTF work directly with people who are homeless on the North Shore” says Brianne De Man, North Shore Homelessness Task Force Coordinator. “As a result, our Task Force knew that this years’ Homeless Count was not a true representation of our homeless population. Having a wider understanding of what homelessness looks like on the North Shore is important for ensuring people in need can access services.”
Six major homelessness outreach and shelter providers on the North Shore provided their 2016 service use data, with safeguards to protect service recipient confidentiality. From this, only unique individuals who had an intake date in 2016 were added to the total list of 736.