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MEDIA ADVISORY: Volunteers needed for 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver

MEDIA ADVISORY: Volunteers needed for 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver

Approximately 1,200 volunteers are needed in communities throughout the region to conduct surveys on the evening of March 3 and throughout the day on March 4

VANCOUVER, BC (Feb. 4, 2020)

WHAT: The 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver will take place throughout the region over a 24-hour period between March 3 and 4, 2020.

The 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver is an initiative of the Reaching Home Interim Community Entity, Vancity Community Foundation and the Community Advisory Board. 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.

Volunteer support is critical to the success of this important research. Homeless Count data is used by service providers, planners, community groups, health authorities, municipalities and funders to inform policy development, community planning and prioritizing programs to address the needs of people who are homeless.

To sign up to volunteer or for more information about the count, please visit:

WHO: Approximately 1,200 volunteers are needed to support the count in communities throughout Metro Vancouver. We are looking for volunteers with experience in a previous homeless count, those who work with people experiencing homelessness (nurses, outreach staff or first responders), students in social service fields, and people with lived experience of homelessness. Experienced volunteers are paired with people who are new to the count.

WHERE: The Homeless Count will be conducted in the following communities:

  • Burnaby
  • Delta
  • Langley (City and Township)
  • New Westminster
  • North Shore (City and District of North Vancouver and West Vancouver)
  • Richmond
  • Ridge Meadows (Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows)
  • Surrey
  • Tri-Cities (Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody)
  • Vancouver
  • White Rock

 WHEN: Tuesday, March 3 (evening) and Wednesday, March 4 (6 a.m. to midnight)

QUOTE: “The regional homeless count is such an important tool for people working with individuals experiencing homelessness, as well as those in the community housing sector, and in government,” said Jill Atkey, CEO of BC Non-Profit Housing Association. “The demographic information helps service providers tailor their programs to better meet the needs of the individuals they’re serving, and the trends we see over time are critical for policy development for all levels of government and the non-profit groups that are working to prevent and end homelessness.”

 BACKGROUND: The Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver has been conducted every three years since 2002. In 2017, the Homeless Count identified approximately 3,605 people experiencing homelessness in Metro Vancouver, either living on the streets or staying in shelters or temporarily in other facilities.

The count is a point-in-time snapshot of people who are experiencing homelessness on a given day in the Metro Vancouver region, and is understood to determine the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness. The count has three main goals:

  1. To estimate the number of people who are experiencing homelessness.
  2. To obtain a demographic profile of people through the count survey.
  3. To identify long-term trends in the number and profile of people who are experiencing homelessness.

Results of the 2020 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver will be available in fall 2020.

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Dean Pogas, Communications Director, BCNPHA

About Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy

Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy is a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across Canada. Reaching Home is funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by a local Community Entity.

About Vancity Community Foundation

Vancity Community Foundation (VCF) has long championed innovative housing solutions and has proven experience managing federal homelessness funds in the region. As the interim Community Entity, VCF works with the Community Advisory Board and partners, including the local Indigenous Community Entity and Council of Community Homelessness Tables, to support service delivery and system coordination to address homelessness.


Formed 27 years ago, BC Non-Profit Housing Association (BCNPHA) is the provincial umbrella organization for the non-profit housing sector comprised of over 600 members, including non-profit housing societies, businesses, individuals, partners and stakeholders. Together, non-profit housing societies manage more than 60,000 units of long-term, affordable housing in over 2,500 buildings across the province.

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