New Brunswick

Homeless count set in 5 New Brunswick areas

Five areas of New Brunswick are taking part in an initiative this mouth to count how many homeless people are in each area.

Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton, Bathurst, southern N.B. all participate in Point in Time Count

New Brunswick communities try to count homeless people. 1:42

Five areas of New Brunswick are taking part in an initiative this month to count how many homeless people are in each community.

Saint John, Moncton, Fredericton and Bathurst and the southern New Brunswick region are all among the 30 Canadian participants in the Point in Time Count.

Faith McFarland, the co-ordinator for the Community Action Group for Homelessness in Fredericton, said counting those without proper housing is a start to fixing the problem of homelessness. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
Faith McFarland, the co-ordinator for the Community Action Group for Homelessness in Fredericton, said counting those without proper housing is a start to fixing the problem.

"Part of this plan is that we are really looking at adopting a very strategic approach, in terms of how we are going to respond to homelessness here in Fredericton," said McFarland.

"And that means we are going to have an approach that looks at chronic and episodic homelessness here in the community."

The co-ordinated effort is funded by the federal government and is intended to provide a snapshot of homelessness across Canada.

This week, 150 volunteers in New Brunswick are starting training and more recruits are being sought.

Emily Leaman is co-ordinating the homeless count in Fredericton and is searching for volunteers. (Shane Fowler/CBC)
"Our volunteers are going to approach everyone that they encounter," said Emily Leaman, the co-ordinator for the count in Fredericton.

"So we're asking them not to make any judgments about somebody's housing status based on just what someone looks like — so just to approach everyone that they encounter."

Results from the count will be made public once the data has been analyzed.

By establishing the minimum number of homeless people over a 24-hour period, the New Brunswick communities will be able to establish a benchmark to measure any progress toward homelessness in the coming years.

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