Terrace’s 2022 annual homeless count is scheduled to take place between April 11- 12 this year (File photo)

Terrace’s 2022 annual homeless count is scheduled to take place between April 11- 12 this year (File photo)

Terrace homeless count begins tonight

Annual project meant to determine what services might be needed

Staffers from the Ksan Society, bolstered by volunteers, will be at various shelters beginning at 6 p.m. tonight (April 11) and on the streets starting tomorrow morning for the annual homeless count.

It’ll officially end at 6 p.m. tomorrow evening (April 12) with results being forwarded to the provincial Homelessness Services Association of B.C. and a report then sent to the City of Terrace, said Ksan executive director Amanda Owens.

The count is being financed through the city from a grant it receives from the provincial government.

This year’s count comes with renewed attention being placed on a growing concern about public disorder in the downtown core.

Last year’s count was 85 with 74 of those consenting to an interview regarding their personal circumstances.

Resulting information from a province-wide report on homeless in B.C. indicated

– 68 per cent of people experiencing homelessness in Terrace were men, 30 per cent were women, and 2 per cent had another gender identity

– 11 per cent of people experiencing homelessness in Terrace were under 25, 72 per cent were between 25 and 54, and 17 per cent were seniors (55 and over)

– 87 per cent of people experiencing homelessness identified as Indigenous

– 52 per cent reported two or more health concerns

– 75 per cent cited addictions issues and 31 per cent identified a mental health concern.

Since 2014 the City of Terrace has conducted annual homeless counts to better understand the situation and to collect data to then lobby the provincial government for assistance.

In 2014, the count identified 67 people as homeless, a figure rising to 73 in 2015 and to 113 in 2016, dropping to 63 in 2017 and rising against to 96 in 2018, followed by another drop to 71 in 2019.

Almost 45 per cent of the homeless surveyed in 2019 were under the age of 25, but that number dropped significantly based on the 2021 count.

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented a count from taking place in 2020.