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October 27, 2017 11:58 pm

Prepping for the Homeless Count

Thursday, March 3, 2016 @ 10:23 AM

Prince George, B.C. – It has been two months of preparation  for the upcoming 24 hour count of  the homeless in Prince George.

It’s  part of a Federal initiative,  and Prince George is one of 30 communities in the nation  taking part  in what has been  titled  the  “Point in Time” count.

Here in Prince George,  the count will  take place  within  a 24 hour period from 6am Monday April 18th to  6 am Tuesday April 19th.

Since the Count  was announced,  Count coordinator Kerry Pateman  says   the local team has been  getting  prepared for the 24 hour  event “We’ve been  looking at additional questions to add to the Government survey,  we have been  figuring out  whereabouts to survey, working with   outreach workers, hoping to meet with the City and the RCMP  on where we might find  some homeless camps. So we are still in the process of doing that,  mapping out where our outdoor count will be. We’re looking at agencies we’ll be able to conduct the survey within such as shelters,  transitional housing and a  couple of drop in centres.”

Pateman is not new to  tracking  the numbers of homeless in this City.  She was part of a team that conducted two previous counts in Prince George, one in 2008 another in 2010.   At that time,  the count  determined  there were approximately 160 people  who could be considered homeless in this community.  This  national Point in Time Count is  aimed at  looking at the  chronic and episodic  homeless but Pateman says Prince George is looking to expand that .  “What we are trying to  do locally, and we have done in the past ,  is trying to  get  an idea of those  living in poverty as well,    those who might be the hidden homeless but the only way we can do that  is doing interviews  at meal places or drop in centres.”  That should  help  identify  those who  are  staying with friends,  or couch surfing  but not actually living on the streets.

Things have changed since the first homeless counts were done in Prince George. Since the  last count, transitional  housing and  supportive housing  have been developed,  and   while  it is anecdotal,  Pateman  says  she doesn’t think the  final numbers  from the  new survey will show a significant increase, “I think  perhaps the makeup and  characteristics of the  (homeless) population  is changing.”  But Prince George  is a  hub for the north  drawing  folks from  throughout  the region,  so  the real numbers won’t be known until  the Point in Time Count  is complete.

Homelessness is a complex issue  with  poverty,  and in many cases addictions and mental illness  contributing  factors.  The focus  on  dealing  with homelessness has shifted over the years says Pateman.  Fifteen  years ago, the  idea was to support folks “where they were at”   but adds  there have been  gains over time “I think the gains have been  a wider recognition that people can move on, not everybody,  but there are people, who with the proper supports,  can   be productive in our communities.  I think it’s the supports  we need to spend more time on.”

The information gathered through the Point in Time Count can be used to direct resources to areas of greatest  need and to link individuals  to  targeted support to help them  achieve stable housing.

Similar counts in the future could be used to  track changes in the  homeless population and measure  progress in the efforts to  reduce  homelessness.

There is a need for volunteers to assist in the day of the  count “Primarily  early morning for the street count,  and then  support throughout the day  to pick  up surveys,  that sort of thing” says Pateman.   And  volunteers  need to have some special qualities “Definitely compassion, and people who feel comfortable  having  conversations with people who have been living in poverty  for   a long time.  We want  people who are non judgemental,  not afraid to make a mistake,  and those who have worked with, or befriended  people living in poverty.”   Anyone  wishing to volunteer is asked to contact Ashley Thandi at cpahcount2016@gmail.com before March 24th.




Just spruce yourself up a bit, mention that you are a refugee and you will not only be moved out of these crowded conditions but will have your own furnished house free transportation,free dental, free medical, free food, free spending money and I am extremely sorry if I overlooked anything. Politicians call that an oversight. OH well whats a hard workin JOE got to do and that’s work until SEPTEMBER for the govt. now. YOU GET ALL THE BENEFITS AND I GET ALL THE BILLS!!


    Actually, the amount of money being spent on welcoming refugees to Canada is minuscule when compared to the amount of money we spend on our burgeoning civil service -federal, provincial and municipal.

    Did you feel that way when Harper was racking up billions blowing s#*+ up in Afghanistan with the Canadian military, fighting a group of scumbags that, terrible as they were, hadn’t actually attacked us?

Hahaha. A little lesson in history.

The Joint Task Force 2 (JTF2) went to Afghanistan in early 2001.

Regular army forces arrived in Kandahar during January-Feb 2002.

August 2003 there were 1900 Cdn Troops in Kabul

August 2003 to October 2005 there were 6000 Cdn soldiers rotated through

Liberals in power from 1993 to 2006.

Harper in power from 2006 to 2015.

So we can say with certainty that Canadian forces were in Afghanistan for at least five years before Harper was elected.

Have a nice day.

    I’m aware that the Liberals were the architects of the mess. And, yes, I should have included Chretien and Martin in the question.

The story was about the homeless count in P.G.
and 29 other Canadian cities.

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