FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Volunteers with the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society will be hitting the pavement late this evening to conduct the first-ever count of Fort St. John’s homeless population.

The homeless count will occur over a span of 24 hours, beginning the night before April 18th and will include counts in shelters, RCMP holding cells, hospitals, and other known places where at-risk individuals stay overnight. During the day, the same procedure will occur; with mechanisms in place to avoid duplicating persons who have been counted already.

The Women’s Resource Society will be conducting the survey alongside the Homelessness Services Association of BC. Fort St. John is one of twelve communities across B.C. that will participate in the province-wide count. Williams Lake, Prince Rupert, and Smithers are the three other Northern B.C. communities participating in the provincial homeless count, which occurs between March 1st and April 30th.

Each person that is counted will be asked to complete a survey about their living situation to highlight needs for at-risk individuals, which can give feedback on potential future funding to help combat homelessness. The survey’s full results should be publicly available in several months’ time.