Homeless numbers in Kamloops expected to jump

By Chad Klassen
October 16, 2015 - 6:50pm

Hundreds of volunteers walked the streets and the riverbanks in Kamloops on Friday, looking for any homeless person they could find.

It's part of ASK Wellness' annual homeless count, trying to get a sense of how many people are actually on the streets.

Alexander Joseph knows what it's like to be homeless, living on the streets for 3.5 months before deciding to end his stay in May.

"I was very hungry, I was too proud to ask for help. I didn't want to get the help," says Joseph, who's been rejuvenated. 

Joseph now wants to help his friends who still live along the banks of the North Thompson. He's one of many volunteers who looked for anyone camping out. 

"I want to see if my friends are OK," he says. "Not to think I'm better than them, just to be a support to them."

There typically have been 95 to 105 homeless people in the last few years, but ASK Wellness anticipates this year's count will be higher.

"This year I've seen more people who I don't know, and that's really unusual," says Ken Salter, an outreach worker at ASK Wellness. "That gives me the feeling there are going to be more this year." 

ASK Wellness won't have final numbers until Monday.

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