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The Crisis

​The incidence of homelessness in Metro Vancouver has increased annually over the past 15 years, with more people living in shelters, on the streets, in their cars or in homeless camps. Homelessness is a region-wide crisis with an estimated 70 plus homeless camps erected in Vancouver, Langley, Maple Ridge, North Vancouver, Surrey, Delta, Burnaby and Coquitlam.

  • The number of unsheltered homeless people has jumped 26 per cent annually since 2011 and nine per cent since 2002.
  • 4,000 people are in immediate need of housing now, while approximately five people will become homeless in Metro Vancouver every week.
  • Shelters in Metro Vancouver are estimated at 97 per cent occupancy.
  • More than 60,000 households in the region spend more than half their income on shelter.   

​Without immediate action, the numbers of homeless across the region are expected to skyrocket. Final results of the 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver found that 3605 people are currently homeless in the region – up 30 per cent from the previous count in 2014 – making 2017 the 16th consecutive year that homelessness has increased.

The numbers are indicative of people struggling with poverty, underlying health conditions for whom there are significant gaps in services, the lack of sufficient social safety nets for Metro Vancouver's most vulnerable, including the working poor, seniors on a fixed income, First Nations, foster youth aging out of care and people with chronic health issues, mental illness and addictions, and the lack of supply of housing that is affordable to those with low and very low incomes. The status quo and the economic cost of inaction is unacceptable.

Simply responding to demands of a homeless person costs taxpayers on average $55,000 in local and regional resources – compared with $37,000 to house them. This equates to about $7 billion annually in Canada, or $200 million for the Metro Vancouver region. 

 

Infographic Videos

Share these infographics with your friends, family and colleagues so they can help change the face of homelessness in the region.