Homelessness continues to be an issue throughout the Fraser Valley and across the province.

Homelessness continues to be an issue throughout the Fraser Valley and across the province.

Homeless numbers rising in Mission

All communities need more services, and the increases in Abbotsford and Mission indicate more work is needed.

The number of people living on the streets in Mission has increased by 39 per cent since 2011, according to the 2014 Homelessness Survey conducted for the Fraser Valley Regional District.

“It’s hard to explain why the number has increased in Mission, but we see these variations from time to time,” explained Dr. Ron van Wyk, who presented the final findings to the regional district last month. Preliminary numbers were released last April. “The fact the numbers have not overall dramatically increased is a good sign.”

The total number of homeless counted in six communities where the survey was conducted was 346. Increases were also recorded in Abbotsford and Boston Bar, but decreases were noted in Chilliwack and Hope. Agassiz-Harrison numbers remained unchanged. The surveys are done every three years.

All communities need more services, and the increases in Abbotsford and Mission indicate more work is needed on efforts to provide supportive long-term housing to people with challenges, said van Wyk.

There are currently 20 beds at Haven in the Hollow and 44 beds at Rivendell in Mission for the homeless to access.

“One person homeless is too many,” said van Wyk. “We need to start with housing, then wrap services around it for folks.”

Mission Mayor Randy Hawes said the recently released survey is already out of date, and doesn’t put “a lot of stock” in the report.

“Things are in such a state of flux.

“About this time of year, new faces show up (in Mission). You will see people on the streets that you know are homeless. They show up in the spring, hang around for the summer, then disappear in the fall.”

Hawes believes there is a “serious addiction and mental health problem” in the Lower Mainland that needs to be addressed.

“The problem is getting worse, not better,” he said, noting Mission is working on initiatives to help, like Stone Soup, an outreach program to connect services to people who are homeless or suffering from addiction.

Fraser Health is also working with Mission and Abbotsford to establish an Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) team for the region to support and help treat vulnerable citizens with mental health and addiction issues.

“We need to identify who they are, what brought them to this (being homeless), and how we can help them.”

Last year, surveyors spoke with 75 homeless people during a 24-hour period in March. While the number has increased compared to three years ago, when it was 54, it is lower than the 100 recorded in 2008.

More than half of the people that were interviewed in 2014 were men (58 per cent) and between the ages of 30 to 49 (54 per cent). About 25 per cent of respondents were in their 20s, and about 17 per cent were over the age of 50.

 

Just Posted

Migrating sockeye in the Fraser River August 7, 2007. (Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
First Nations, commercial, and recreational harvesters join forces to save Fraser River fish

‘We have to work together to rebuild these stocks while there is still time,’ says delegate

web
Father’s Day Parade planned for Mission

Classic vehicles from the 1920s to the 1970s will drive through Mission, Hatzic on June 20

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

.
Fraser Health monitors long-term care vaccination rates amid local COVID-19 outbreak

COVID-19 transmission has largely been on the decline in Agassiz-Harrison

FVRD surveyed public opinion on cannabis production and processing in the electoral areas. Odour and distance from residential areas were the top concerns. (Black Press file)
Cannabis production and processing rules being drafted by Fraser Valley Regional District

Data from public opinion survey will be used to guide cannabis-related land use

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A worker, at left, tends to a customer at a cosmetics shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, May 20, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
Half of cosmetics sold in Canada, U.S. contain toxic chemicals: study

Researchers tested more than 230 commonly used cosmetics and found that 56% of foundations and eye products, 48% of lip products and 47% of mascaras contained high levels of fluorine

White Rock’s Marine Drive has been converted to one-way traffic to allow more patio space for waterfront restaurants. (Peace Arch News)
Province promotes permanent pub patios in B.C. post-pandemic plan

More than 2,000 temporary expansions from COVID-19 rules

Lake City Secondary School Williams Lake campus students Ethan Reid, from left, Brenden Higgins, Ty Oviatt, Kaleb Alphonse, Nathan Kendrick and Landon Brink with RCMP officers Const. Nicoll and Const. Stancec. (Photo submitted)
RCMP thank 6 teens for helping prevent forest fire in Williams Lake

The students came across fire in a wooded area and used the water they had to try and extinguish the flames

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

A 34-year-old man was arrested Monday after Transit Police found him riding a SkyTrain with a shotgun in the front of his sweatpants. (Transit Police)
SkyTrain passenger arrested, charged for concealing shotgun in his sweatpants

Codty-James Gray, 34, was found with ammunition, brass knuckles and knives

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

Most Read