Aboriginal homeless numbers are continuing to rise in the Vancouver area.
The report, which is based on the 2017 homeless count in the Metro area, found First Nations people were overrepresented among the homeless population, accounting for 34% of the homeless in the region despite only making up 2.5% of the population.
David Wells is the chairman of the Aboriginal Homelessness Steering Committee (AHSC) and he says “This 2017 Homeless Count in Metro Vancouver underscores what we already know: that Aboriginal people are disproportionately affected by homelessness, and that fewer of them are accessing shelter”
Wells added the larger proportion of Aboriginal homeless who are unsheltered or living on the streets, about 61 percent of the “mainstream” homeless were found in shelters during the count, compared with 48 percent of those who are Aboriginal.
The report attributes the causes of Aboriginal homelessness to a range of barriers faced by the Indigenous population, such as poverty, racism, and trauma stemming from systemic and historical factors.