Regional Homelessness Task Force
As Metro Vancouver braces for record cold temperatures, regional Mayors are getting together to address homelessness with a newly formed task force. The complex issue of homelessness is challenging all municipalities across the region. The Task Force, to be Co-Chaired by Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson and Maple Ridge Mayor Nicole Read, will work with Metro Vancouver and municipal staff to access data from across the region to assess the homelessness crisis, including:
- Estimates on the number of homeless in Metro Vancouver;
- Information on the frequency and volume of those turned away from Metro Vancouver shelters;
- A summary of experiences from Metro Vancouver municipalities dealing with street homelessness and encampments; and
- The number of permanent shelters and interim housing spaces needed immediately to address homelessness and tent cities across the region.
Once the data has been collected and analyzed, it will be used by the Regional Homelessness Task Force to develop a set of recommendations to encourage the Provincial government to immediately deliver permanent shelter and interim housing space in the spring of 2017.
The Regional Homelessness Task Force, which will be comprised of six Metro Vancouver Mayors and seven local government Chief Administrative Officers, will also seek the advice and expertise of all local governments, BC Housing, social service agencies, and the Province of BC in the collection of data and development of reports.
A particularly concerning issue is the number of homeless youth on the streets in Metro Vancouver. Dr. Stephen Gaetz explains how youth can become homeless and some of responses required to meet the developmental needs of this population in the "Solutions to Stop Youth Homelessness in Canada" YouTube video.