Metro Vancouver is launching its first-ever youth-specific homeless count next week.
While there have been homeless counts covering the Metro Vancouver region every three years since 2002, this count will specifically target youth aged 13 to 24. Over nine days, anonymous surveys will be conducted at high schools, youth organizations, shelters and youth centres to create an understanding of how many youth are homeless in the Metro Vancouver region.
Events are scheduled around Metrol on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 4. There will be free food, entertainment and activities as well as youth workers on hand. In Vancouver, Convenant House will host an event from 2 to 4:45 p.m. at its 575 Drake Street drop-in centre.
While the youth homeless count will only offer a snapshot of the number of young people without a home, the count aims to understand the causes and conditions that lead to youth homelessness in the region and to raise awareness of the issues surrounding youth homelessness.
According to Metro Vancouver, the count will also demonstrate the need for government solutions and support. It will also help give organizations an idea of how to respond with appropriate policies and services.
In the 2017 Metro Vancouver homeless count, 3,605 people were found homeless across the region.