Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) Homeless Count
The FVRD is a local government consisting of six municipalities and eight electoral areas that delivers over 100 separate services to over 280,000 residents in the beautiful Fraser Valley. The communities include:
- Harrison Hot Springs
There are 603 homeless individuals in the Fraser Valley, according to preliminary results from a survey released today to the Board of Directors of the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD). This number is a significant increase from 2014, when the count revealed 346 homeless individuals throughout the region living in shelters, transition houses, service centres and outside.
The Homeless Count is conducted every three years and provides a moment-in-time snapshot of homelessness. On March 8, 2017 over a 24 hour period over 140 agency staff and volunteers fanned out across the region and conducted one-on-one interviews with people living on the streets and in by-ways. A similar count was conducted in Metro Vancouver during the same time period.
Preliminary findings of the 2017 count show increases in Abbotsford, Chilliwack and Hope. In 2014, there were 151 homeless individuals in Abbotsford; 73 in Chilliwack; and 22 in Hope. Abbotsford has increased by 79%; Chilliwack has experienced an increase of 203% and Hope’s numbers have increased by 64%. However, results were not uniform across the region. The number of homeless individuals in Mission and Agassiz-Harrison dropped, while the number in Boston Bar increased marginally.
“Despite steps taken by municipalities in partnership with local service providers and the provincial and federal governments to provide more services and housing, communities still face significant challenges to arrest the increase in the number of people living homeless. Concerted efforts to continue this work, including prevention of homelessness, must continue” said Dr. Ron van Wyk, Executive Director, MCC Community Enterprises, who oversaw the count.
The 2017 homeless count confirms earlier anecdotal reports suggesting a significant increase in the number of homeless persons in the Fraser Valley. These numbers are above the previous high of 465 homeless individuals counted in 2008. The preliminary results of the Metro Vancouver count will be released in early April.