A survey last year found 119 homeless people in Squamish. Not having enough income, mental health issues, and conflict with spouse or partner were the top three reasons why people were experiencing homelessness.
The 2023 Squamish Point in Time Homeless Count occurred 24 hours between the evenings of April 24 and 25 last year. An individual was defined as experiencing homelessness if they did not have a place of their own where they paid rent and could expect to stay for at least 30 days.
This included people who stayed overnight on the night of the count in homeless shelters, including transient houses for women fleeing violence and youth safe houses, and people with no fixed address staying temporarily in hospitals, jails or detox facilities.
The count also included those staying outside in alleys, doorways, parkades, parks and vehicles or staying temporarily at someone else’s place and using homeless services.
Here are some highlights of the survey:
119 people were identified as experiencing homelessness (compared to 107 in 2021)
86% of respondents were unsheltered
67% were adults between the ages of 25-54, 9% were youth under 25
32% of respondents identified as Indigenous, compared with 3% of the Census population
41% reported insufficient income as their reason for housing loss
The Homeless Count uses a Point-in-Time methodology, which involves a survey and shelter counts, to find how many people are experiencing homelessness.
Surveys almost always result in an undercount, and results will reflect only those who participated, said Squamish Community Housing Society.