Homeless Count 2020 – Call for Volunteers in New West and Greater Vancouver

The 2020 Homeless Count team is recruiting qualified volunteers for the 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver. The Count will take place throughout the region inside shelters during the evening of Tuesday, March 3, 2020 and on streets throughout the day and evening of Wednesday, March 4, 2020.

By volunteering for the Count, you are helping to gather valuable information used by governments, service providers, community groups, and funders so they can plan for appropriate programs to address homelessness and measure progress in reducing homelessness.

To complete the online application form and for more information, please go to: https://www.vancitycommunityfoundation.ca/initiatives/2020-homeless-count

What’s involved

The Homeless Count involves identifying and conducting a brief anonymous survey with people experiencing homelessness. The street survey typically involves walking, biking or driving around a neighbourhood looking for individuals to survey. The shelter survey is conducted in various shelters across the region.  Shifts will be 2 to 3 hours and volunteers will be required to attend a 2-hour training session sometime between February 10 and March 2, 2020. Volunteers will work in teams of 2 and must be 19 years of age or older.

Ideal volunteers

While everyone is welcome to apply, to ensure the scientific integrity and a proper implementation of the Count we are looking for volunteers with specific skills and experience, such as:

  • experience with previous homeless counts or professional/volunteer experience working with people experiencing homelessness;
  • compassion, acceptance, and comfort with one-on-one conversations with people on the street;
  • a non-judgmental attitude and a good sense of humour.

Background

Homeless counts have taken place in Metro Vancouver every three years since 2002 and every year in the City of Vancouver since 2010.  They provide critical information on the number and characteristics of our region’s homeless population and how this population has changed over time.

The 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver is an initiative of the Reaching Home Interim Community Entity, Vancity Community Foundation and Community Advisory Board (CAB). The Homeless Count is delivered in partnership with the Indigenous Reaching Home Community Entity, the Indigenous Homelessness Steering Committee, the Council of Community Homelessness Tables, and is conducted by BC Non-Profit Housing Association.

It’s not too late to purchase tickets for the 12th annual Fundraiser!

Tickets will be available on Eventbrite until noon (Transforming the Community to Inspire Action) and some tickets will be available to purchase at the door. Doors open at 5:30 for appetizers and mingling; Program starts at 6:30.

It is going to be a great night of music, food, and inspiration!

Not to mention you can support the Coalition by taking part in the 50/50 draw, silent auction, and <$25 table!

It is Homelessness Action Week in New Westminster

We launched the week on Saturday with a HAW proclamation at the homelessness Awareness Community Walk which also included a Yarn bombing in Moody Park and large quantities of warm knitted items collected in the community.

Them the UGM did their famous thanksgiving community lunch; not once but twice on Thanksgiving Monday! 

Today, October 15th, we saw over 60 people enjoy a Community Breakfast served by the parishioners of Holy Trinity Cathedral, community volunteers, local politicians, NW Police and local students. Then at CONNECT Day, 19 local service providers came together under one roof to provide information, food, and services to those in attendance! We saw:

  • Public Health Nurses provide 43 flu shots
  • BC Nurses Union and BCIT Nursing student check the blood pressure of 23 people
  • 7 people have their income tax prepared – one person filing 10 years’ worth of claims!
  • 4 people have their hearing tested
  • Stress being relieved through massage
  • Many people receive information about local services 
  • Lots of pie, pastries, and coffee eaten thanks to the Union Gospel Mission!

All the while we networked, chatted and were entertained by local musician Pernell Reicher!

The week is only half over and we still have:

  • World Food Panel Discussion to recognize World Food Day at the River Market on Wednesday, October 16 at 7 pm.
  • Transforming the Community to Inspire Change, the Coalitions annual fundraiser at the Columbia Theatre. Tickets are $75 and available through Eventbrite.
  • A film screening of US & THEM at Holy Trinity Cathedral at 7 pm on Friday, October 18th. Doors open at 6 pm with free refreshments being served. FREE tickets available on Eventbrite.

Happy #HAW2019!

Next HAW Planning meeting October 2nd

Homelessness Action Week (HAW) Meeting

We are in the final stretch to making this year’s HAW the best one yet!

Our next planning meeting will be on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, from 9:00 to 10:30 at the Union Gospel Mission at 658 Clarkson Street in New Westminster.

This year HAW will feature:

  • a Community Homelessness Awareness Walk in Uptown;
  • a Community Thanksgiving Lunch at Union Gospel Mission; 
  • a Community Breakfast and service providers CONNECT DAY at Holy Trinity Cathedral;
  • a Community Food Security Panel Discussion to recognize World Food Day at the River market;
  • a Fundraising Dinner to support the important work the Coalition does in New West; and,
  • a screening of US AND THEM an incredible film that follows the lives of 4 homeless individuals in Victoria over a 10 year period that provides deep insight into homelessness.

Check out our calendar for the details.

It is not too late to get involved!

Want to help, but can’t make the meeting? Contact Betina