Tag Archives: Seasonal Homelessness

Port Moody calls on province to mandate supportive housing requirements for TOD areas

Editor’s note: Port Moody was one of the communities that participated in 2023 Homeless Count Greater Vancouver.  It is one of the Tri-cities, whose homeless population people has almost doubled in the three years since the previous Point in Time Count (2020). A total of 4,821 people were listed in Greater Vancouver. When asked, the #1 cause respondents cited was ‘not enough income’ to afford housing. This was the same answer that Point in Time Counts found in Campbell River, the Comox Valley, Parksville/Qualicum, Powell River, Port Alberni and Sechelt/Gibsons.  ‘Low wages,’ ‘the inability to pay rent or mortgages’ and the lack of available housing during the tourist season were among the reasons given by the 46 Cortes Island residents known to have ‘couch surfed,’ found some other temporary shelter or lived outside at some point during 2022.

By Patrick Penner, Tri-Cities Dispatch, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Port Moody is calling on the province to provide dedicated supportive housing for homeless populations in cities expected to densify around their transit hubs.

The motion, introduced by Coun. Amy Lubik on Jan. 9, advocates for an amendment to recent provincial legislation mandating densification around all SkyTrain stations.

Port Moody will be sending the policy to the Lower Mainland Local Government Association and Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) conventions in 2024, and copies have been forwarded to the provincial ministers of housing, municipal affairs, mental health and poverty reduction.

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The #1 cause of homelessness

“Scapegoating: the act of blaming a person or group for something bad that has happened or that someone else has done. Example: the scapegoating of immigrants for the country’s economic problems.” – Cambridge Dictionary

While it is easy to blame the unhoused population for their predicament, all of the recent ‘Point In Time’ (PIT) suggest they are indications of a much larger problem. 

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‘Unsheltered’ and ‘At Risk’ Populations on Cortes and Quadra Islands

In the Spring of 2022, Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness and the Urban Indigenous Housing and Wellness Coalition  commisioned a series of studies of the housing crisis in our area. One components was a survey called ‘Collecting Stories of Where We Live’ conducted by the Rural Development Network. 110 Cortes Island and 43 Area C residents participated (all but two of the latter were from Quadra Island).  

“The purpose was to provide a comprehensive picture of housing instability and homelessness in the area to help inform service providers and municipal, provincial, and federal policies, practices, and funding decisions. And then to elevate and incorporate the voices of folks who are experiencing homelessness in solutions to end homelessness,” explained Emma Wallace, Project Manager of Community Development and Homelessness Estimations at the Rural Development Network.

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Potentially More than 1200 ‘housing unstable’ in the SRD

There may be more than 1,200 ‘housing unstable’ people in the Strathcona Regional District. 

This figure arises from a statement Emma Wallace, of the Rural Development Network, made when she released the comments from the ‘Collecting Stories of Where you Live’ data collection project.

Wallace’s organization was commissioned by the Campbell River & District Coalition to End Homelessness (CRDCEH) and the Urban Indigenous Housing and Wellness Coalition (UIHWC) to conduct the housing and service needs estimation in the Strathcona Regional District earlier this year. The ‘stories’ her organization collected were written responses to the housing needs survey.

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Mark Vonesch 6: Housing, The number one issue in this election

The Electoral Areas Housing Needs Report identified an immediate demand for 75 rental and 40 retail units on Cortes Island. 

In a previous interview, Mark Vonesch from the Cortes Community Housing Society, said, “I hear stories of people having to quit their jobs because they can’t find housing for the summer. I know people that are living under a tarp. I know seniors that are living in a tent.”  

Continue reading Mark Vonesch 6: Housing, The number one issue in this election