Homelessness Action Week
Homelessness is a hot topic in our city and it has been for years. With the closure of Riverview and other mental health facilities, a great number of mentally ill citizens are living on the street. With plans in place to help the situation any positive news is encouraging.
This week, a new report by the City of Vancouver, shows a sliver of hope. The number of recorded homeless people in Vancouver was down by exactly two this year, when compared to last year’s figures. In 2012, there were 1,602 homeless people living in Vancouver and this year there were 1,600, a drop of two. But more encouraging, of the 1,602 people, 1,327 were able to find sheltered homes. In 2012, the numbers were slightly lower at 1,296.
Other significant numbers in this year’s report show that over 60% of the citizens counted as homeless faced addiction problems, while 46% claimed they had mental illness problems and 34% had a mental disability. Unfortunately these numbers, when compared to earlier years, showed a decrease in general health.
Resolving the issues around homelessness will take the work of our entire community. A good place to start is attending any number of the events planned for Homelessness Action Week. Free educational workshops will be offered in different municipalities around the Lower Mainland from October 13th-19th. In Vancouver, make sure to check out the weeklong art exhibition titled “Out of the Rain.”