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.

#HAW2019 – Community Walk Oct. 12th

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Housing is the Difference… Community is the Connection

This year Homelessness Action Week (HAW) in New Westminster runs from Saturday, October 12 to Friday, October 18 and our planning committee has been busy!

Here is what we are planning:

  • October 12: Family-Friendly Homelessness Awareness Walk in Uptown.
  • October 14: Thanksgiving Lunch at Union Gospel Mission, 658 Clarkson St. 
  • October 15: Community Breakfast (8-9 am) and CONNECT Day (9 – Noon) at Holy Trinity Cathedral, 514 Carnarvon St.
  • October 16: World Food Day Community Food Security Panel Discussion at the River Market in partnership with the New Westminster Museum and Archives and their “You are What You Eat” Exhibit.
  • October 17: Annual NW Homelessness Coalition Society Fundraiser at the Columbia Theatre. 
  • October 18: An evening event still being confirmed.

But, it is not too late for community members to get involved!

Are you a Knitter? Consider becoming part of our Legacy Scarf Knitting Project that will culminate in a family-friendly Homelessness Awareness Walk where knitted items will be placed in the community for those in need. Want more info? Contact Courtney.

Want to donate to HAW activities? We are looking for:

  • Wool for our Legacy Scarf Project
  • NEW women’s and men’s socks and underwear that can be given out at the Thanksgiving Lunch or at CONNECT Day.
  • Warm clothes in good condition for CONNECT Day.
  • Organizations/businesses to provide silent auction items and gift cards for the Coalition’s annual fundraiser.
  • Sponsors for entertainment on CONNECT Day and at the Fundraiser.
  • Sponsors for refreshments at our family-friendly walk and at our Friday evening event.

Want to donate or need more information, please contact Betina.