Fraser Valley – The 2017 Homeless Survey in the Fraser Valley found 606 people homeless in the region, up 75 percent from the previous survey in 2014. On Thursday, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) received the final report from this survey, revealing greater insight into that population.
To view the complete report, visit www.fvrd.ca/Homelessness
“Homelessness is one of the most pressing issues in our region and across the country,” said Jason Lum, Chair of the FVRD. “The final report of this year’s survey reminds us of how important it is that we continue to work with other levels of government and community agencies to address the needs of those who struggle to find predictable housing. We especially hope that this data will help to further inform the federal government and the National Housing Strategy.”
Most notable is that the theory and rumor that the homeless were “booted out of Vancouver for the Valley” is unfounded.
Only 13 per cent of those homeless and wished to answer survey said they moved to their current location in the Valley from Metro Vancouver.
Instead, the count found that most of those who answered they survey said they had moved to their current city from either another Fraser Valley community or from another part of B.C. outside the Lower Mainland.
The report also shines the light on homeless going to where the most support services are that can help them in the short and long term.
- Two thirds of homeless persons could be considered chronically homeless.
- Indigenous people are disproportionately represented in the homeless population. In the FVRD, 35% of homeless persons identify with some form of aboriginal ancestry. Indigenous people represent 4% of the general population.
- Respondents who served in the military or as first responders represent 5% of the persons who live homeless in the FVRD
- A significant proportion (49%) of homeless persons interviewed had experiences with foster or other institutional care.
- 68% of respondents reported addiction; 49% a medical condition; 46% mental illness; and 29% a disability.
- 64% of the FVRD’s homeless population is male; 35% female; 0.8% transgender/other