Ian (he didn’t want to share his last name) has been living outside in Port Alberni for the past seven years and getting by on food donations from the food bank as well as ‘binning’—scrounging for metal pieces like the wire in his hands (worth about $3, he says) from a construction dumpster. SUSAN QUINN PHOTO

Port Alberni to host second homeless count

2018 homeless count will be part of a province-wide initiative

Port Alberni will be one of several communities hosting a homeless count in April as part of a province-wide initiative through BC Housing and the Homelessness Association of BC.

Alberni will be one of 9-12 communities providing information on the estimated number, key demographics and service needs of those experiencing homelessness.

This is the second time Port Alberni has hosted a homeless count, but the first time the community has worked in partnership with the province.

“The purpose of this is to ensure that we have really good data for all of BC,” said coordinator Marcie DeWitt. “Which BC Housing can use in order to make some decisions around housing and policy.”

“Homeless,” for the purpose of this count, includes people who do not have a place of their own where they can expect to stay for more than 30 days, and if they do not pay rent.

This way, said DeWitt, they can count both the “sheltered,” who are living in shelters, transition houses or health facilities, as well as the “unsheltered” homeless, who are living outside or couch surfing.

The count will take place in Port Alberni on April 10-11. A night count will take place in the evening of April 10, and will get a head count of those who are in jails, hospitals, detox facilities, transition houses and shelters.

The day count, on April 11, will involve dropsites and “magnet events” in order to survey people at particular locations.

Seven different dropsites have already been identified, working in partnership with different agencies across the community.

“The intent of magnet events is to really get people all to one place,” DeWitt explained.

BC Housing will be partnering with the Friendship Centre to offer a Wellness Day and a community dinner, which De Witt says will draw very good crowds.

“Especially from the more vulnerable in our community,” she added.

Volunteers will be needed leading up to and on the day of the count. Information on how to volunteer will be available soon at hsa-bc.ca.


Just Posted

Could Thunder in the Valley roar at Alberni’s airport once more?

City of Port Alberni offered Stamp Avenue as a temporary solution

John Douglas looks forward to a “healthier” Port Alberni

Douglas has resigned from his position at the Port Alberni Shelter Society to run for mayor

Alberni weightlifter heads to world championship

Dhaliwal is ranked second in the Pan Americas and fifth overall in the world

Wildfire crews gain upper hand on Arbutus Ridge fire

Controlled burning helping to contain fire: Coastal Fire Centre

D.O.A. brings punk rock to Port Alberni’s Rainbow Room

New generation of punk bands help D.O.A. celebrate 40 years of performing

Interim GoFundMe payments approved in Humboldt Broncos crash

$50,000 to be given to each of the 13 survivors and each family of the 16 people who died

Ottawa intervenes to get B.C. ball player, 13, to Little League World Series

Before immigration issue was resolved, Dio Gama was out practicing the game he loves Wednesday

Pet goldfish invades small B.C. lake

Pinecrest Lake is located between Whistler and Squamish

Mounties deployed to help B.C. communities affected by wildfires

RCMP officers heading to places particularly within central, northern and southern B.C.

Quebec sets aside $900 million for companies hurt by U.S. tariffs

Premier Philippe Couillard says his government will make $863 million available over five years

B.C. company patents Sasquatch, the country’s first homegrown hops plant

Created by Hops Connect, Sasquatch hops are being grown commercially for the first time in B.C.

Farmers ponder impact of alternatives to pesticides being banned

The nicotine-based pesticides scientists have linked to a rising number of honey bee deaths will be phased out of use in Canada over a three year period starting in 2021.

Time to kick maverick Tory MP Maxime Bernier out of caucus, Scheer urged

Conservative MP Maxime Bernier is taking issue with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s oft-repeated message of diversity in Canada, calling it a form of “radical multiculturalism.”

Most Read