City seeks volunteers for Hamilton homelessness census

The city is seeking volunteers for a 'point-in-time count' to survey and measure the scope of homelessness in Hamilton.

'Point-in-time count' next month to survey Hamilton's homeless

The city's "point-in-time" count will include people "sleeping rough" or outdoors, not just in shelters and transitional housing. (CBC)

A city effort next month will send teams of trained volunteers and workers out to try to answer a difficult question: 

At any one time, how many people in Hamilton are homeless? 

The effort is called a "point-in-time count" and it's intended to take a snapshot census of the people in Hamilton who are sleeping in shelters, short-term transitional housing and — unlike another count last year — who are sleeping "rough" or outdoors.

The city needs 200 volunteers to work shifts on Sunday, Feb. 21 and Monday, Feb. 22. 

For the first time, Hamilton's numbers will be added to numbers from cities around the country who are all using the same approach. 

The city is partnering with local aboriginal community leaders to make sure the population of people who are both homeless and aboriginal is properly included. 

The volunteers will be trained to do surveys with people about their health and social needs, which will help the city direct resources. The registration deadline for volunteers is Feb. 5.


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