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HomeNewsHomeless count rises in Smithers

Homeless count rises in Smithers

Smithers Town council was provided with the homeless numbers after a count that occurred earlier this year.

The Homeless Count that was conducted in Smithers on April 14 and April 15 found that 33 people were identified as experiencing homelessness.

This is an increase from 29 in 2018.

According to the report, 93% of the community’s homeless population identified as Indigenous and 70% of the homeless population reported having two or more health concerns.

58% which is the majority were couch surfing, 12% were living outside and 9% were living in a makeshift shelter or living in a tent.

Most of the homeless population were men, 52%, followed by women at 44% and four percent of another gender identity.

The report also added most were adults, over 25, followed by seniors than youth.

Over half of the homeless population experienced homelessness for the first time as a youth, 54%, and 48% had been in foster care or a group home.

The reason for housing loss was due to substance use issue, which was the majority of 48%, not enough income made 33% and lastly 22% had a conflict with a partner.

The report only provides a snapshot of the homeless population in the community during a 24 hour period.

This report was originally supposed to occur in 2020 but was delayed until 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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