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Volunteers needed for Kamloops homeless count

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September 30, 2015 - 11:48 AM

KAMLOOPS - Volunteers are needed to help identify the homeless population in Kamloops.

The homeless count is used to collect statistics on the homeless population to use to lobby the government for funding and to educate the public on their existence.

“We take one day snap shot of how many homeless people we can find in Kamloops,” ASK Wellness outreach worker Ken Salter says. “They're a part of our community; they’re here, they’re not going anywhere."

He says the training sessions will focus on safety, likely with the assistance of RCMP, and volunteers will learn what to wear, what to expect and also where they will be expected to go.

“There are pieces of beach that are hard to get to,” Salter says. 

If you’re not as mobile, there are various locations in town where homeless people will come to be counted. New Life Mission and various bottle depots, including General Grants, will be staffed with volunteers the day of the count.

Salter explains each person counted is asked to complete a short survey to collect data on things including gender, age, how long they’ve been homeless and how long they’ve been in Kamloops.

In addition, each person will receive a backpack with hygienic products and winter supplies including mitts, scarves, toques and blankets.

Salter is asking anyone interested in taking part in the annual homeless count to attend an information and training session on Friday, Oct. 2 or Friday, Oct. 9. Both at 5 p.m. at the ASK Wellness location on 433 Tranquille Rd.

The count will take place on Friday, Oct. 16, starting at 7:30 a.m. Volunteers will begin from ASK Wellness locations on Tranquille Road and 412 Seymour St.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at dreynolds@infonews.ca or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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