Homeless count reveals 108 in Kamloops

By Chad Klassen
October 20, 2015 - 3:20pm

After 65 volunteers covered every corner of the city during Friday's homeless count, the numbers reveal there are 108 homeless people in Kamloops. 

The volunteers counted 80 men and 28 women during the event, slightly up from the typical 95 to 105 people in the last few years. 

Downtown and along the South Thompson in Valleyview revealed the largest volume of the homeless population. But ASK Wellness says if they're counting 108, there are many more out there. 

"We use a formula we got from Judy Graves out of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver. Her formula says if we find 100 homeless people, then there's probably 250 homeless people here," says ASK Wellness Outreach Worker Ken Salter. "We don't count the hidden homeless when we get out. We count the people sleeping rough. We don't count the people who are sleeping on their friend's couch or their parents' basement."

But ASK is now focusing on the survey volunteers conducted on Friday. It's determining where the people came from and what it says about how long they've been homeless. 

"It's got a lot of interesting questions on it. For instance, how long have you been homeless and how long have you been in Kamloops," says Salter. "If you've been homeless for five years and you've been in Kamloops only for a coule months, that tells us that you moved here as a homeless person. On the other end, if you've been in Kamloops all your life and you've only been homeless for two months, then that also tells us something." 

Salter says with homeless numbers slightly up at 108, it won't mean more funding. His feeling is, the amount of funding ASK Wellness receives now will continue.

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