2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver

"Logo provided by the Greater Vancouver Shelter Strategy, a partner of the 2017 Homeless Count http://gvss.ca/"

What is the Homeless Count?

The Metro Vancouver regional Homeless Count provides critical information on the number and characteristics of our region’s homeless population and how this population has changed over time. Service providers, planners, community groups, health authorities, municipalities and funders use information from the Homeless Counts to assist in policy development, planning, and prioritizing programs and services to address the needs of people who are homeless.

In 2017 BCNPHA’s research department conducted the Homeless Count on behalf of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s Community Entity Metro Vancouver in partnership with Community Homelessness Tables across the region.

What did the 2017 Homeless Count find?

The full data report, providing an extensive picture regarding the regional distribution and general characteristics of the homeless population was released on September 26, 2017.

The report revealed a steep increase in homelessness across Metro Vancouver with 828 more people identified as homeless in 2017 compared to 2014, representing a 30% increase in homelessness and the highest number to date. Aboriginal homelessness is also on the rise – with 34% of all homeless people identifying as Aboriginal compared to 31% in 2014. The number of homeless young people (25 and under) was 16%, down from 20% in 2014, while homeless seniors (55 and up) grew from 371 to 556 and represented 23% of the homeless population (up from 18% in 2014).

Additional valuable information on demographics, sources of income, and existing barriers to housing, among others, can also be found in the full report.

2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver

In March 8, 2017 a total of 3,605 people were found homeless in Metro Vancouver. An additional 606 people were found homeless in the Fraser Valley Regional District’s Homeless count.


Source: B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association, M.Thomson Consulting, MCC Enterprises. (2017). 2017 Report on Homelessness in the Lower Mainland. Prepared for Fraser Valley Regional District and Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s Community Entity Metro Vancouver. Burnaby/Chilliwack, BC.



How can we address homelessness?

BCNPHA’s Affordable Housing Plan for B.C. outlines the necessary investment in supply and income supports to substantially decrease homelessness in Metro Vancouver and British Columbia. It calls for the adoption of a Housing First Approach to support the needs of chronic and episodically homeless people in BC and an expansion and further development of existing approaches of vulnerability assessments and coordinated access into the entire housing system.

To read more, review the Affordable Housing Plan here.

How is the Count implemented?

Over a 24-hour period between March 7 and March 8 close to 1200 volunteers counted and obtained demographic information from people who do not have a place of their own where they could expect to stay for more than 30 days and do not pay rent. This includes people who

  • stayed overnight, on the night of March 7, in homeless shelters including transition houses for women fleeing violence and youth safe houses, people with no fixed address staying temporarily in hospitals, jails or detox facilities,
  • live outside or stayed temporarily with others (couch surfing) and/or those using homelessness services on March 8.

We would like to thank everyone who took the time to participate and to those who were able to help make the count possible this year. We could not do it without you!

Partners: BCNPHA conducted the Homeless Count on behalf of the Homelessness Partnering Strategy’s Community Entity Metro Vancouver. Our 2017 partners are:

 Questions? Contact Us