Homelessness Survey Results Released

Media Release
For immediate release
October 4, 2012

Survey Finds One-in-Four Lower Mainland Residents Know Someone Homeless in Past Five Years

(Vancouver, B.C.) Today, in preparation for the Seventh Annual Homelessness Action Week
(Oct 7 – 13), the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness released Community Values: A Public Opinion Survey About Homelessness in Metro Vancouver, setting out  the results of its first ever public opinion survey on homelessness.

“There were some surprises for us in this survey including the fact that nearly one in four residents claim to know someone who is either currently homeless or has been homeless in the last five years,” commented Alice Sundberg, Co-chair of the Regional Steering Committee. “While empathy is increasing, residents are not satisfied with the rate of progress throughout the region. Affordable housing is seen as a top priority.”

Seventy-one percent say they agree with the idea that it is possible to have a community in which there will be a home for everyone that chooses to have one but a majority (54%) said housing in their community should be there for the people who can afford it.

“The majority of residents think job training and employment opportunities are the preferred way to address Aboriginal homelessness.” noted Patrick Stewart, Chair of the AHSC. “Thirty-two percent see culturally appropriate programs and services for Aboriginal people are as an important solution.”

“Youth homelessness has been a priority for Vancouver Foundation for four years,” said Vancouver Foundation President and CEO, Faye Wightman. “And so we are pleased that people see this as a serious issue. The findings suggest less understanding of the pathways to homelessness for young people, including youth transitioning out of care. We know these youth are particularly vulnerable to homelessness which is why we are now focusing our work on youth who are transitioning out of government care.”

The survey was conducted from September 10 to 12, 2012 by Angus Reid Public Opinion and included 1,006 randomly selected adults in British Columbia’s Lower Mainland. The geographic distribution of participants

About Homelessness Action Week
Homelessness Action Week, is in its seventh year, and is organized by the Greater Vancouver Regional Steering Committee on Homelessness. The week focuses on increasing awareness and action around homelessness and promotes events for including Homeless Connect Events (service fairs for people who are homeless) and public events (like film nights) and a public awareness campaign focused on strengthening community.  Over 50 events are posted on the ‘community calendar’ pages at www.stophomelessness.ca


Key Findings Backgrounder Available
For information and interviews contact:
Helesia Luke, Co-ordinator Homelessness Action Week
Office: 778.786.2838 | Cell: 778.858.0553