Numbers on Langley homelessness released

 

The number of people sleeping on the streets of the Lower Mainland was up sharply in the latest Metro Vancouver Homeless Count.

Results from the 2014 count, which is conducted every three years, showed that overall numbers had increased from 2,650 homeless to 2,770.

However, Langley and many of its neighbours actually saw a small decline in the number of homeless people compared to the 2011 count. Most of the increase was centered in Vancouver itself, which also had the largest number of homeless by a wide margin.

Langley’s 2014 count saw volunteers locate 92 homeless people, of whom 38 were in a shelter of some kind.

That’s slightly down from the high of 2011, when there were 103 homeless people located in the Langleys. Langley had seen steadily increasing numbers in the previous years, from 57 homeless in 2005 to 86 in 2008.

This marks Langley’s first actual decline since the counting began.

“It shows that there is good work being done,” said Fraser Holland, a homelessness outreach worker in Langley.

However, he noted that local social workers have already met up with several people who noted that they were not counted. Any snapshot count like this one will miss people and err on the low side, he said.

Another issue is that Langley, though not a large community, bears a higher proportion of homeless residents than many other communities.

“Langley Still has the fifth highest number in the region,” said Holland.

Burnaby, Ridge Meadows, New Westminster, the North Shore, and Richmond also saw slight declines in the number of people without a permanent home. Other communities like the Tri-Cities and Surrey saw slight increases.

Meanwhile, Vancouver’s numbers shot up, from 1,581 people counted in 2011 to 1,798 this year.

The proportion of people without shelter in Langley and across the region increased this year compared to 2011.

Region-wide, there 1ere 957 homeless without any shelter at all. In Langley, 54 people were unsheltered.

There has been a slight increase in the percentage of teens and young adults who are on the streets. A total of 410 people under 25 were counted in 2014, a three per cent increase.

The number of seniors, however, went up sharply.

A total of 371 people 55 and older were counted, up 38 per cent from 2011 when 268 seniors were counted.

Holland had previously told the Langley Advance that during the early-March counting process, local volunteers noticed more elderly homeless than in years past.

He hopes that numbers backing up the observation will help encourage more action on this front.

Langley’s homelessness is addressed by many groups, Holland noted, including churches, the Salvation Army, Ishtar Transitional Housing Society, and programs through Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services Society.

Despite any decline in the total numbers, there remains a lot to do, he said.

“We’re still extremely busy,” said Holland.

Just Posted

White stuff coats Langley in heaviest snowfall of the season

Langley residents have a day of snow to enjoy before the rain starts again.

Upcycling: possibilities endless for Langley artists using recovered items

Past winner enjoys taking garbage, and not recycling but upcycling it into something better.

Cloverdale’s Coldest Night of the Walk event breaks fundraising goal, raises more than $66,000

Hundreds take to the streets of downtown Cloverdale to raise funds, awareness for homelessness

Walnut Grove liquor store move turned down by council

For the second time since December, council has voted against the plan.

UPDATE: At least two hospitalized after plane leaves runway at Abbotsford Airport

Incident occurred around noon on Friday; Transport Canada investigating

President praises nearly 1,800 volunteers at B.C. Games

Ashley Wadhwani sits down with the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games President Niki Remesz

Bobsleigh team misses Olympic medal finish

Canadian team finishes four-man event 0.84 seconds behind first place, 0.31 seconds from podium

B.C. Games: Athletes talk Team Canada at PyeongChang 2018

From Andi Naudie to Evan McEachran there’s an Olympian for every athlete to look up to

Snowboarders sliding into fresh territory at B.C. Games

Athletes hit the slopes for first appearance as an event at the B.C. Winter Games in Kamloops

Cariboo woman raises funds for Seizure Investigation Unit beds at VGH

VGH Foundation gets VCH approval to begin fundraising for SIU beds; local efforts are paying off

Looking back at the 1979 B.C. Games: Good memories, even better jackets

39 years later, Kamloops is hosting the Winter Games again, with some volunteers returning

OLYMPICS 101: Oldest and youngest Canadians to reach the podium

This year, Canada sent its most athletes in Winter Games history, here’s a look at record breakers

BCHL Today: Cowichan Caps play spoiler and Nanaimo wins 10th straight game

BCHL Today is a (near) daily look at what’s going on around the league and the junior A world.

Federal budget to unveil incentive for 5-week second parent leave: official

Goal behind the measure is to give parents more incentive to share child-rearing responsibilities

Most Read