The 2018 PiT Count is partially funded by the Government of Canada’s HPS. This is the second time the HPS has provided funding to conduct a nation-wide PiT Count and the first time the City of Kamloops has participated. Through a call for applications issued to the community in September 2017, two coordinators were contracted to coordinate the count—an Indigenous Engagement Coordinator and a Point-in-Time Count Coordinator. These positions were fully funded by the HPS, and their objectives were to:
a) Implement the PiT Count for Kamloops between March 1, 2018, and April 30, 2018, as part of the national Everyone Counts: 2018 Point-in-Time Count to contribute to a better understanding of homelessness in the region and in Canada.
b) Conduct a count of people experiencing absolute homelessness and deliver activities that aim to identify the number of people in the community experiencing homelessness in shelters and on the streets.
c) Serve as a comparison to the fall counts that have been conducted over the years. Additionally, using a common approach with other communities, at the same time of year, the count will provide a better understanding of homelessness in Canada.
d) Conduct a survey of the homeless population in order to determine comparable community information on the demographics and service needs of the homeless population. This information will be used to identify community resources that are most needed. Additionally, the information collected from the surveys will contribute to the national understanding of homelessness.
e) Engage Indigenous people and agencies to participate, and strive for a culturally appropriate and respectful delivery of the count.
To keep research methodology consistent and to allow for comparison between communities, the Kamloops PiT Count followed the 14 HPS core questions. In addition to those questions, through consultation with PiT Committee, 14 additional questions were integrated, for a total of28 questions. Participants had the option to withdraw at any point and/or to skip any questions they did not feel comfortable answering. The findings are an estimate of Kamloops’ homeless population in one day.
The homelessness count provides a ‘point-in-time’ snapshot of people who are experiencing homelessness in a 24-hour period; therefore, this picture can fluctuate over the course of the year. It should be noted that the point-in-time count is typically an undercount: the hidden homeless population is particularly difficult to enumerate as some individuals may choose not to be counted, and perfect coverage of the city by volunteers is not possible. Despite this, the count is a sound method for collecting data on homelessness at a single point-in-time. The 2018 PiT Count took place on the evening of March 27 and the day of March 28, 2018.