2011 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver

Metro Vancouver Agencies and Volunteers Prepare for 2011 Homeless Count

March 10, 2011

The Fourth Homeless Count in the Metro Vancouver region will be conducted from midnight to midnight on March 16. Since 2002, decision makers, funders and community agencies have relied on the count conducted every three years (2002, 2005 and 2008). The homeless count is an important tool to better understand Metro Vancouver’s homeless population.

“The homeless count is the best way to determine if the homeless population is increasing or decreasing, as well as analyze trends within the population,” commented Susan Papadionissiou, Co-Chair of the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness.

Patrick Stewart, Chair of the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee highlighted recent homelessness trends in the Aboriginal community, “Between 2005 and 2008, count figures showed us there was more growth in homelessness among the Aboriginal population (34%) compared to the non-Aboriginal population (21%).”

Funding for this critical initiative is provided by the United Way of the Lower Mainland, Vancouver Foundation, City of Vancouver, and the Surrey Homelessness and Housing Fund. This year, it is anticipated there will be over 700 volunteers participating on Count day.

The methods and implementation of the count are overseen by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness and the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee. OrgCode Consulting, Inc has been retained as the Research Consultant for the Count.

“This year, data on the number of people with No Fixed Address in jails, hospitals, treatment and other transitional facilities will be included in count numbers. In addition, new strategies have been developed to reach homeless youth who have been underrepresented in previous counts,” commented Alice Sundberg, Co-Chair of the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness.

Preliminary results from the Metro Vancouver 2011 Metro Vancouver Homelessness Count are expected to be released in April with the final results following in July.

About The Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness (RSCH)
The (RSCH) was established in March 2000 to bring together a range of people and organizations operating and funding facilities, services or programs targeted to people who are homeless or at-risk of homelessness in the region. The RSCH now includes over 35 members representing service providers, community-based organizations, business and labour, and all levels of government.

About The Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee
The vision of the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee is to reduce and prevent Aboriginal homelessness, and to improve the quality of life for those that are homeless. The Committee was established in September 2000 and now includes over 25 members representing Aboriginal service provide and community-based organizations. The Committee agrees that the most effective means of addressing the vision is through Aboriginal best practices and culturally appropriate services.

For more information or interviews contact Helesia Luke
hluke@ethosstrategygroup.com  |  Office: 778.786.2838 | Cell: 778.858.0553

Photo Information: www.stophomelessness.ca

The BC Coalition of People with Disabilities is a member of the Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness.

Free Tax Filing Service at BCCPD

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The BCCPD is once again partnering with ACORN Canada to provide a free tax filing service.

Trained volunteers will assist with filing 2010 taxes, free of charge. People can maximize their tax credits and also receive GST cheques on time. As well, we can help you file taxes for previous years. Suggested eligibility:

  • Individuals receiving PWD benefits or PPMB benefits
  • Individuals earning up to $25,000 a year
  • Couples earning up to $35,000 a year
  • People with simple tax returns.

As well, trained volunteers with ACORN can assist with the Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP). If you have a child born after January 1st, 2004, qualifying families are eligible for the Child Learning Bond of $500 for the first year of the child’s life and $100 every year until the age of 18.

Tax Clinic Dates are Mondays:

Monday February 21st, February 28th, March 7th, March 14th, March 21st, and March 28th.

Please phone Advocacy Access at 604-872-1278 to sign up for a 30 minute appointment.

Money Skills at BCCPD: free 4-week program

Money Skills at BCCPD

Join us for a free 4-week program

Poverty is not only about money, it is also about not having access to the skills, resources, information, and choices necessary to get and maintain self-sufficiency.

If you are living on a low income or receiving disability benefits, you may have well-developed money management skills. You may know how to stretch a dollar and juggle bills. But if you want to know more, where do you get objective information not designed to sell you anything?

Often, financial language can be difficult to understand and link to your own life. Money is a sensitive and private subject for many people, so many of us don’t feel comfortable asking friends or family.

The Money Skills program at Family Services of Greater Vancouver works with community groups to offer a workshop series on money. The workshops are free of charge and provide a fun, interactive environment to share information and learn new money skills.

Budgeting: Track your earning and spending and be in control of your money.

Banking: Choose the options that are right for you, reduce fees and save money.

Credit: Build and maintain a good credit history and deal with debt.

Consumerism: Buy buy buy! Examine the role of advertising in our spending choices and how to be in charge of your own spending.

Cost:     Free
When:   Four sessions in June 2011: June 2nd, 9th, 16th, and 23rd
Where:  BCCPD, #204 – 456 West Broadway, Vancouver
Time:    1:30 pm to 3:30 pm

Call Val at 604-875-0188 or email feedback@bccpd.bc.ca for more information.