Smithers has released the data from its November homeless count.
The count was conducted by the Smithers Action Group Association, a non-profit society that’s trying to build a supportive housing unit.
Nicole Oud is the homeless count coordinator with SAGA, and she says there were some surprising findings.
The group identified 22 people as homeless, with 92% self-identifying as aboriginal.
This is a hugely disproportionate representation since only 12% of Smithers’ population identifies as aboriginal.
She also says those self-identifying as having mental health problems is much lower than what service providers are reporting.
Oud says more surveys are need though.
She hopes other groups can use the survey results to tackle the issue of homelessness.
The homeless survey will give the group hard numbers to work with when applying for grants, understanding the scale and scope of homelessness in Smithers, and some of the underlying issues.
The results of the survey can be found at: www.smithers.ca.