There were 114 homeless people counted in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as part of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count in March. (The News/files)

There were 114 homeless people counted in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows as part of the Metro Vancouver Homeless Count in March. (The News/files)

More than 100 homeless counted in March snapshot across Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Metro Vancouver Homeless Count has been taking place since 2002

A point-in-time count conducted in March discovered more than 100 people in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows identified as homeless.

That is the finding of the 2020 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count.

In Ridge Meadows, volunteers who fanned out across both cities, counted a total of 114 homeless – 35 unsheltered and an additional 79 sheltered.

Of those that were sheltered: 12 were counted in an extreme weather response shelter; 60 in a temporary night shelter, winter response shelter, safe house or transition house, and seven were of no fixed address and counted in a jail, detox facility or hospital.

In 2017, the year of the last homeless count, 124 homeless people were counted, a figure that had been trending upwards since 2005 when only 44 people were counted.

In general the count showed that the number of people experiencing homelessness in Metro Vancouver has changed little since 2017.

However, the report advised that the count took place two weeks before the provincial government declared a state of emergency due to COVID-19 and so the final report may not adequately reflect regional homelessness.

READ MORE: Homelessness increases in Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows

Data was collected starting the evening of Mar. 3 for a 24 hour period into Mar. 4, to give a snapshot of homeless in the region.

This was the first homeless count where individuals were asked whether they identified with any racial group or groups.

Results found that Black people were over-represented among identified racialized groups experiencing homelessness.

The report stated that Black people were 3.7 times more likely to experience homelessness compared to what their presence in the general population would predict.

Also, Latin American and Arab respondents were also over-represented, with Latin Americans being 1.7 times and Arabs 1.3 times more likely to experience homelessness.

Health issues were also factor with 87 per cent of individuals counted citing at least one health condition including a physical disability, illness, addiction, mental health issue or cognitive impairment. Of those, 60 per cent reported an addiction that included substance abuse, alcohol, cigarettes or gambling.

READ MORE: Homeless counted in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Findings also showed that more seniors, those 55 and older, were experiencing homelessness compared to youth, those 24 and younger, than in 2017. Seniors represented 24 per cent of the homeless population overall this year, up from 22 per cent three years ago.

“I think that homeless counts are effective as long as you keep in mind that there is a lot of hidden homeless within communities that are not counted,” said Mark Stewart, executive director of the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows Ministries.

Counts need to be done, he said, because it gives organizations ideas how to build infrastructure for people who are vulnerable.

“I think that we’re making headway,” he said of the lower Ridge Meadows count.

Community organizations that the Salvation Army works with in Maple Ridge are working together, more than they have ever been before, explained Stewart.

“And, we’re moving people from emergency shelter to transitional shelter, into private market housing, into detox centres and we’re just really working together to make sure we’re just a doorway so people can come in and find the way back to where they should be – which is their own home,” he added.

Homelessness fluctuates in communities depending on personal situations, continued Stewart.

“It’s a point-in-time count.”

“It shows you what’s happening in your community on that day and how you can improve on your services to make peoples’ lives better,” he said.

A point-in-time homeless count has been conducted in Metro Vancouver since 2002.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Homelessmaple ridgePitt Meadows

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Have an opinion you’d like to share? Submit letters to the editor through our website, via email or the postal service. (Heather Colpitts/Black Press Media)
LETTER: Maple Ridge resident impressed with frontline workers when husband hurt

From police to health professionals, everyone who cared for injured senior deserves praise

Residents of Golf Lane say they are tired of their houses and vehicles being hit by golf balls from the nearby Maple Ridge Golf Course, and worry someone is going to get killed by a wayward drive. (Neil Corbett/The News)
Maple Ridge Golf Course neighbours say they need protection

City willing to explore solutions says director of parks

Former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sex assault, and is now being sued by the victim. (files)
Former Pitt Meadows city councillor sued for sex assault

David Murray was convicted in 2017 of sexually assaulting a teen 25 years earlier

Ineke Boekhorst with the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association says Sparkle has been a huge hit with downtown businesses. (The News files)
Maple Ridge business to get free Earth Day window cleaning

Event put on by the Downtown Maple Ridge BIA and Christian Life Assembly

Allen, Mel, and Trevor Leung pose on the Whitecaps field in Vancouver. (Special to The News)
Community rallies to support Maple Ridge man suffering from paralysis, kidney issues

GoFundMe set up to help Allen Leung and his family during difficult times

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: B.C. lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

Nick Warmerdam and his dog Diesel are inviting locals to check out the Lakeland Farm U-pick Flower Farm this spring. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
VIDEO & SLIDESHOW: Abbotsford’s Lakeland Flowers opens for spring

Tulip farm attraction opened on April 14, open to the public daily seven days a week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
RCMP intercept vehicle fleeing with infant taken from Kamloops hospital

The baby was at the hospital receiving life-saving care

The female driver of this Jeep Grand Cherokee (right) was driving erratically with a young child inside on Highway 1 eastbound. After hitting a barrier and a parked car, she finally exited the highway at Yale Road West and came to a stop. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Video captures woman driving erratically with child after hitting barrier, car on Hwy 1 in Chilliwack

Smoke seen coming from SUV as it continues to travel eastbound of shoulder of highway

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Most Read