Red Deer holding third official homeless count on Oct. 19

Red Deer will hold its third official homeless count on October 19.

Red Deer will hold its third official homeless count on October 19.

Volunteers will hit the streets to talk to those experiencing homelessness.

The information will be used to help identify trends and key issues as part of an effort to end homelessness.

The Point in Time (PIT) homeless count is an essential part of Red Deer’s 5 Year Plan to End Homelessness, which aims to end homelessness by 2018.

Roxana Nielsen Stewart, the city’s Social Planning supervisor, said a count gives a snapshot of the homeless population and allow the city examine how things change over time.

“Working together with community volunteers and organizations allows us to improve housing programs and services, and measure our progress toward ending homelessness,” she said.

Approximately 200 volunteers are needed to count and survey across neighbourhoods throughout Red Deer. Volunteers are paired and trained.

The PIT count takes place from 9 to 11 p.m. on October 19 with training provided prior to the event.

Volunteers must be 18 years old and can sign up through www.reddeer.ca/PITCount or call 403-342-8100. Volunteers will be notified of details closer to the date.

The 7 Cities on Housing and Homelessness, including Red Deer, Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat, Grande Prairie, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, will conduct a coordinated count on October 19 with a standardized methodology.

The city’s homeless count is conducted every two years since starting in 2012.

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