Volunteers Start 2014 Metro Vancouver Homeless Count

The city of Vancouver has started the 2014 Metro Vancouver homeless count and volunteers this year claim to be seeing more seniors on the streets. Vancouver Mayor, Gregor Robertson, had promised to end homelessness in the city by 2015. Mr. Robertson accompanied almost 900 volunteers last night at midnight who signed up to participate in the 2014 Metro Vancouver homeless count.

The 24-hour event is scheduled to take place every three years, and Robertson claims he expects to see fewer than the 2,623 homeless people counted in 2011. However he confessed that it’s alarming to learn that volunteers are seeing more seniors on the streets. The executive director of the Aboriginal Friendship Centre Society, Susan Tatoosh, alleged that the shelters are also observing a rise in non-aboriginal seniors. She explained that “we’re seeing more Asian seniors and more elderly women and it’s something that is happening in society at this point in time that seniors are finding themselves homeless.” It was also added that “they are coming from comfortable places and then finding themselves homeless.”

Meanwhile, Mr. Robertson also confessed that there is increased pressure on seniors housing across the city, highlighting that there are not enough “culturally appropriate” facilities for Asian seniors. He alleged that “there is a crunch there for sure. And as the boomers age we are going to see even more pressure on the need for seniors housing,” adding that “seniors housing is identified as a key priority in our affordable housing plan.”

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