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City needs volunteers to help with homelessness survey in Hamilton



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City needs volunteers to help with homelessness survey in Hamilton

Volunteers are needed in Hamilton to help carry out a national study on homelessness.

The City of Hamilton said in a press release this week that they are looking for approximately 150 volunteers to participate in Everyone Counts 2020: the third nationally coordinated Point-in-Time Count of homelessness in Canada.

The ‘Point in Time Connection’ is scheduled to take place April 19 – 23, 2020.

The City works alongside Hamilton’s Indigenous Community in the planning and implementation of the survey in partnership with the Coalition of Hamilton Indigenous Leadership.

A Point-in-Time Count is intended to identify how many people in a community experience homelessness at any given time – it is not an exhaustive count.

Through the accompanying survey, the initiative provides information on the demographics and service needs of the local population experiencing homelessness.

Information gathered from the Point in Time Connection will highlight housing, health and social needs to work toward connecting participants to the right types and levels of support within the community, the press release said.

“Understanding and responding to the current health, social and housing needs of people experiencing homelessness in our community is a key priority for the City of Hamilton,” said Mayor Fred Eisenberger in the release.

“The Point-in-Time Count ensures we account for everyone while providing accurate information on how the City is moving the dial on ending homelessness in Hamilton.”

It will also continue to inform local homelessness policy and practices.

Previous counts, carried out in 2016 and 2018, found that more than 75 per cent of respondents did not have enough money to cover their housing needs in the city.

Those surveys also found that men are the highest homeless demographic, with 72 per cent in 2016 and 66 per cent in 2018 in Hamilton.

People who identified as Indigenous make up roughly 25 per cent of those surveyed over the years.

Volunteers will undergo training in order to survey individuals experiencing homelessness throughout Hamilton. People staying in shelters, temporary housing, transitional housing and those in unsheltered locations will be the focus of the survey.

Each survey team will include volunteers from the Indigenous community, with the goal of providing Indigenous respondents the option to complete surveys with Indigenous volunteers.

Survey results from the 2020 Point in Time Connection will be shared publicly as part of a Community Debrief taking place in June 2020.

The deadline to register as a volunteer is Friday, March 6. The volunteer application form is available online.

The 2020 Point-in-Time Count is directed by the Federal Government through Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy, a community-based program aimed at preventing and reducing homelessness across the country.

All communities receiving Reaching Home funding are required by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) to participate in the survey.

To learn more about survey results from Hamilton’s 2016 and 2018 Point-in-Time initiatives, visit here.

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