Homeless People in Vancouver
In a region wide count held on March 11, 2008 there were 765 in emergency shelters and 811 people sleeping outside for a total of 1,576 people. In the “Metro” Vancouver area the total homelessness count on this night was 2660. This does not include 402 people who were “perceived” to be homeless but not included in the total count because they either refused to be interviewed for the purposes of the enumeration, or were asleep and couldn’t be woken up.
Since counts began in 2002 there has been a shocking 137% increase in overall homelessness and a 373% increase in the number of people sleeping outside.
This point-in-time methodology underestimates the number of homeless people. It is not a full accounting of the Metro Vancouver homeless population. In Vancouver alone close to 6,000 people live in Single Room Occupancy Hotels which are ten feet by ten feet and do not have kitchens and usually only have shared bathroom on each floor. In Vancouver there is also an epidemic of bed bugs in these facilities and shelters and many of these hotels do not meet basic building code requirements. People who live in these housing conditions can hardly be considered “housed”.
THIS IS A CRISIS THAT WE HAVE IGNORED WITH GREAT HUMAN, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC COSTS TO US ALL.