Homeless numbers down in Alberni

There are fewer homeless people in the Alberni Valley than in 2007 but more resources are still needed to deal with the issue.

There are fewer homeless people in the Alberni Valley than in 2007 but more resources are still needed to deal with the issue, Alberni Valley Community Stakeholder Initiative to End Homlessness spokesperson Myron Jespersen said.

According to Jespersen, there are approximately two homeless people in the Valley today, which is down from 25 that were counted in 2007.

“Today we can identify them and work with them quickly,” Jespersen said.

Jespersen said that the homeless were counted by outreach workers and agencies, who had the best approximation of how many homeless there were.

“When we say homeless, we mean people who were outside sleeping rough,” Jespersen said.

When counts first started in 2007 homeless people were prevalent in doorways, parks and behind old buildings. “Now, we’re not seeing that,” Jespersen said.

Shelter was found for the homeless at the Port Alberni Shelter Society, Phoenix House, and other low barrier facilities.

While the homeless issue has been and continues to he addressed another set of circumstances could have an impact that AVCSI official Patty Edwards finds worrisome.

Low-cost rental housing units are becoming scarce as they are bought up and rents are subsequently raised.

The temporary closure of rooms at the Rusty Anchor Inn has also put the squeeze on the number of low-cost housing units available. “We’re losing affordable housing,” Edwards said.

Affordable housing was defined as housing in which tenants pay only one-third of the income for rent.

The group is working on several homeless initiatives.

One is with landlords to support them, and avoid and or resolve confrontations with tenants.

Another project involves lobbying the city and regional district to adopt bylaw changes that would allow secondary suites.

Housing for youth, families and seniors is still needed, Edwards said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Alberni hosts Island track and field championship

Secondary schools compete at Bob Dailey Stadium

Is Steve Nash Vancouver Island’s best athlete of all-time?

As Captain Canada gets ready to enter basketball’s Hall of Fame it’s time to debate his legacy

Who is Vancouver Island’s greatest athlete ever?

We want to know, you get to choose in a 64-athlete tournament bracket

200,000 salmon smolts released in netpens for Alberni salmon enhancement

West Coast Aquatic has released 205,000 chinook smolts into two net pens… Continue reading

Virtual simulation engages users in the event of a tsunami hitting Port Alberni

A team from the University of Victoria display a tsunami simulation at the 2018 #BCTECH Summit

VIDEO: Grand Forks shores up defences as floodwaters rise to peak levels

Canadian Forces, volunteers working to protect low-lying areas

Chilliwack Chiefs moving on to RBC Cup final after thrilling win over Ottawa

Kaden Pickering scored the winning goal in the 3rd period as Chilliwack won their semi-final 3-2.

VIDEO: As floodwaters recede, crews assess the damage to Grand Forks’ downtown

More than four dozen firefighters and building inspectors came out to help

Wellington Dukes pull off epic upset of Wenatchee at RBC Cup

The Dukes are off to the championship game after downing the Wild 2-1 Saturday at Prospera Centre.

Canada to face U.S. for bronze at world hockey championship

Canada was looking to play in the gold medal game for a fourth straight year, but saw 3-2 loss

Searchers for Vancouver Island father turn focus to Cowichan River

Cowichan SAR joined by many other SAR groups, volunteers now determined to find missing man

Vacationers urged to check for stowaway bats that could carry deadly disease

‘White-nose syndrome’ has killed millions of bats in North America, but hasn’t arrived in B.C. yet

Highway 19A closed in both directions near Union Bay

An incident involving a vehicle has shut down Highway 19A in both directions early Saturday morning.

Are B.C.’s gas prices enough to keep you from travelling May long weekend?

Gas prices in B.C. ranging from 125 cents per litre to more than 150 cents

Most Read