Aboriginal Homeless Counts


On April 10th, 2017, Metro Vancouver released a preliminary data report for the 2017 Homeless Count in the Metro Vancouver region.  

On September 25, 2017, the Aboriginal Homelessness 2017 Count in Metro Vancouver was released.

The report, which is based on the 2017 homeless count in Metro, found that First Nations people were overrepresented among the homeless population, accounting for 34 per cent of the homeless in the region, despite making up 2.5 per cent of the population.  See the full Vancouver Sun article here.

The report attributes the key causes of homelessness among Aboriginal people to social, systemic and historical factors. In addition to securing safe and affordable housing, it notes Aboriginal people face additional barriers such as poverty, racism, intergenerational trauma and migration from their home communities to urban centres. Metro Vancouver is one of the most unaffordable cities for housing in the world, adding to the systemic economic disadvantage facing Aboriginal Peoples.

“These realities offer insight into why Aboriginal peoples are overrepresented among the homeless population and should be essential considerations in any path forward,” Wells said. “Intergenerational trauma, in particular, has emerged as a central theme in much of the research on Aboriginal homelessness.”

The Aboriginal Homeless Steering Committee is calling for a number of recommendations to be implemented, including the creation of an independent BC Homelessness Ombudsman office to support the interests of homeless individuals that effectively have no voice in the current system as well as landlord educational campaigns.

Additional coverage on Aboriginal homelessness:
Global News
National Post