Nelson homeless count underway

Nelson’s first homeless point-in-time count and survey is underway.

Volunteers Kate Nott (left) and Phyllis Nash (right) are helping in Nelson’s first homeless point-in-time count and survey.

Volunteers Kate Nott (left) and Phyllis Nash (right) are helping in Nelson’s first homeless point-in-time count and survey.

Nelson’s first homeless point-in-time count and survey is underway. It began last night and continues today, involving over 50 volunteers working with the Nelson Committee on Homelessness.

Shelters and transitional housing surveyed and counted residents last night. Teams of volunteers will hit the streets, parks, alleys, hang outs and many service locations today.

“If you see one of our volunteer teams approaching, wearing an orange and white button and carrying a clipboard, please take the time to answer their short questions,” said Ann Harvey, Nelson’s count co-ordinator.

“The method of a point-in-time count is to approach everyone, because you can never tell who just lost their housing or is struggling in a precarious or unsafe home situation.”

And for those who have endured chronic or repeated homelessness Harvey had another message: “Please come see us as we are walking around Nelson or at one of the many service locations our volunteer teams are going to be at. We need to hear your situation, your needs and what services or programs you think would help you.”

The survey is voluntary and completely anonymous. No names will be taken.

Teams will be at the Salvation Army, Our Daily Bread, the Nelson Food Cupboard, Nelson Library, Nelson Women’s Centre, as well as surveying at Kootenay Career Development Services and ANKORS.

The count and survey is part of, and supported by, a nationally co-ordinated effort under the federal Homeless Partnering Strategies. Communities across Canada are conducting counts and surveys from January to April.

The overall findings of the count will be reported back to the community in late June, and shared with service providers, funders and all levels of government.