News from Kamloops

October 2, 2012

Homeless Count 2012

Kamloops, B.C. - The Kamloops Homelessness Action Plan and ASK Wellness Centre present Homeless Count 2012 on October 18th and 19th, 2012.

Homeless counts are conducted in many communities across North America and help in a variety of ways, including creating awareness for both the public and volunteers; connecting with people living on the streets; tracking trends; measuring change; informing program development and informing government policy.

The goals of the Count include expanding the supplies offered to the homeless participants; the number of volunteers; and the involvement of local shelters and institutions serving homeless people. The end result will be a comprehensive report that will be available to the public and policymakers.

The first Homeless Count in Kamloops was in 2005 and was performed by TRUE Consulting, sponsored by the City of Kamloops. ASK Wellness Centre has been performing the Kamloops Homeless Count since 2006. For 2012, the count process will be expanded, using the 'Counting Homelessness - Guidelines for a Standardized Method for BC Communities' produced by the Province of British Columbia.

The City of Kamloops has an agreement with Service Canada to receive federal funds under the Homelessness Partnering Strategy for the purpose of addressing housing and homelessness in the community. These funds provide in part for projects that are approved by the Kamloops Working Group on Homelessness, managed by the City, and carried out by local non-profit organizations/service providers in the community. Eight of these projects are currently funded in Kamloops; the 2012 Homeless Count will be the ninth.

The City is providing $5,000 to ASK Wellness, in partnership with the Homelessness Action Plan, to conduct the Count.

Residents interested in volunteering can attend a free training session at ASK Wellness Centre (433 Tranquille Rd) on either Friday, October 12th or Monday, October 15th, from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Pre-registration is not required.

The complete reports on counts in Kamloops and Merritt will be available in early November, through the HAP website at www.kamloopshap.ca and the ASK Wellness website at www.askwellness.ca.

- 30 -

Media Contact:
Carmin Mazzotta, Project Manager - Housing and Homelessness
City of Kamloops
250-828-3728
cmazzotta@kamloops.ca

Ken Salter, Outreach - ASK Wellness Centre
250-376-7558