Photograph by Jonathan Rados
The Cowichan Housing Association is adding up the numbers from last week’s homeless count.
John Horn of Cowichan Housing says so far more than one-hundred-and-30 people identified themselves as homeless during the count.
He says there are a few more questionnaires to be returned, but doesn’t expect the number to increase by much.
Horn says the number is lower than he expected and says it “might have been the case that a different day, a little bit of different timing on it might have changed the numbers.”
However, he’s satisfied they managed to adequately cover the region.
The numbers and the answers questions they asked of homeless people will now be analyzed in two ways.
Horn says the provincial government and there will be “an analysis of all the questions asked” and the demographics recorded so that a detailed report can be produced for the Cowichan region.
He says it will give them “a fairly comprehensive picture of who is in our community that doesn’t have a place to live.”
A second report will be produced in conjunction with other communities on the mid-island to create an overall picture of the homelessness on central Vancouver Island.
Horn says they will work with Nanaimo, where a count was done on the same day, and produce a report that focuses on the mid-island region.
He says this will be helpful because “there is lots of movement between a community like Cowichan Valley and Nanaimo and Parksville and Qualicum, and even going up to Comox-Courtenay.”
Horn says they wanted to “capture what the state of play was for the mid-island region and produce a very localized document.”
During this year’s count, Horn says they also sought to identify people who are living crowded into small spaces.
He says they want to develop a picture of “overcrowding and need for affordable housing.”
The Cowichan House Society will have an understanding of both homelessness in the Valley and overcrowding in residential units.