Volunteers take on homeless count in Alberni

the ­Alberni Valley Community Stakeholders Initiative to End Homelessness will undergo a count of displaced residents on Tuesday, Nov. 22.

Hoping for a better understanding of the homeless population in Port Alberni, the ­Alberni Valley Community Stakeholders Initiative to End Homelessness will undergo a count of displaced residents on  Tuesday, Nov. 22.

“The main reason that we’re doing it is to understand the number of homeless people in our community and to gain some demographic information of who are our homeless population and what kinds of service needs do they have,” said Terry Deakin, project coordinator.

“I think there are so many people that don’t understand that we have a homelessness issue.”

Volunteers will disperse around Port Alberni from 8 a.m. Tuesday to 1 a.m. Wednesday looking for homeless individuals to undergo a 10-question survey and to provide them with resources.

Deakin said certain areas of the city where homeless folks tend to be have been mapped out for volunteers to check.

This will be the first homeless count of this type in Port Alberni.

“All the BC Housing supported shelters, they have stats already…but we often miss the people who are out on the street or living in a car or in an abandoned building,” Deakin said.

Deakin said having access to homelessness stats is important knowledge to have when looking for community funding.

On Tuesday, Deakin said volunteers were still needed and that those interested should contact the Alberni Valley Community Stakeholders Initiative to End Homelessness. A volunteer training session will take place Thursday, Nov. 17 from 12–1 p.m. and again from 4:30–5:30 p.m. at INEO Employment Services on Argyle Street.

In addition to volunteers, Deakin said donations are welcomed.

“We’re hoping to provide some food to the people who answer the survey for us or maybe they might need a jacket or blanket or personal care items,” Deakin said.

For more information contact Terry Deakin at 250-723-4675 or by email at terry@ineoemployment.com.

 

karly.blats@albernivalleynews.com

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