The final results of the Metro Vancouver regional district’s 2011 Homelessness Count reveal more families and youth are ending up on the streets or in shelters.
While the number of homeless people in the region remains virtually unchanged from the previous count in 2008, the makeup of the 2,650 people without a permanent home is starting to change.
The biggest change, as reported last year when Metro Vancouver released its preliminary report, is that there has been a 74 per cent increase in the number of homeless people in shelters.
The migration from street to shelters can be attributed to deliberate efforts from the provincial and municipal governments to increase capacity at shelters.
Aboriginal people remain over-represented in the count, making up 27 per cent of the homeless population despite the fact they account for just two per cent of the region’s overall population.
The number of homeless youth, 397, has increased by 34 per cent since 2005.
Volunteers also counted 56 families, with children, living on the streets.
That number is the most ever recorded by the count.
The Homelessness Count is conducted every three years by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness and the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee and is used by government, advocates and organizations as a snapshot of the region’s homelessness problem.