Volunteers still needed for Nelson homeless count

The first-ever point-in-time homeless count and survey will be happening on Wednesday, April 13 — and it’s fast approaching.

The first-ever point-in-time homeless count and survey will be happening on Wednesday, April 13 and it’s fast approaching.

“We have 22 volunteers identified so far” says Ann Harvey, Nelson’s point-in-time count coordinator, “with eight more we are waiting to receive registrations from, but the research would surely benefit with 10 to 20 more volunteers.”

Harvey stressed that training is provided and volunteers will go out in teams of two to four to survey the streets and key service locations on April 13, in four hour shifts during the day (including breaks). Each survey team will have an experienced team member. The count and survey will gather information from people experiencing cyclical or chronic homelessness or who lack permanent or safe housing.

“This is a great opportunity to learn a bit more about your community, provide some meaningful and useful information to our community, governments, funders and service providers and meet a great group of people,” said Harvey. Volunteers who survey must attend a two hour training session. The first of five training sessions started today.

The point-in-time count hopes to answer questions like “Who is homeless or at risk in Nelson? Are they passing through or local residents? What do they say are their service and housing needs?”

To be successful, says Harvey, the count will need a lot of support from citizens and organizations.

The Nelson homeless point-in-time count and survey is part of a nationally-coordinated effort, with funding assistance from the Government of Canada’s homelessness partnering strategy. The count will take place April 12 in shelters, transitional housing and institutions, and the next day throughout Nelson where volunteers are needed. If you wish to volunteer go to nelsoncares.ca/ncoh2016pitcount or contact Ann Harvey at 250-352-6011x19 or at ncoh@nelsoncares.ca.

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