(Black Press file photo).

Those experiencing homelessness in Kelowna increases from 2018

A point-in-time count conducted in March shows a jump of four per cent in homeless population

At least 297 people were experiencing homelessness in Kelowna as of a March 10, according to a point-in-time count.

The new 2020 numbers show an increase of four per cent since 2018, where 286 people were counted as experiencing homelessness. To carry out the count the Central Okanagan Foundation worked in partnership with 23 community organizations, including the point-in-time (PiT) Count Steering Committee, to develop a community strategy.

Kelowna’s count was scheduled for early March, however, other communities across Canada decided to defer the count to 2021, due to COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the PIT count, 89 per cent of those experiencing homelessness were between the ages of 25 and 64 years old while six per cent were between 15 and 24 years old, two per cent were younger than 14 and three per cent were older than 65.

One in five people, or 23 per cent, were counted who identify as Indigenous or had indigenous ancestry.

Those who were homeless for six months or more within the past year were counted as chronically homeless at 72 per cent of the 297 people. Those considered episodically homeless or experienced three or more episodes of homelessness within the last year accounted for 11 per cent.

Of those counted, 84 per cent indicated they had stayed in an emergency shelter in the last year.

There were an additional 335 individuals counted who were living in temporary system-supported housing.

The average days people in Kelowna experienced homelessness increased year over year, according to the Central Okanagan Foundation.

In 2016 the average days people found themselves to be homeless was 192, in 2018 the average days were counted at 241 and in 2020 the days increased to 267.

The top reasons for housing loss were:

  • Household conflict
  • Not enough income for housing
  • Substance use issues
  • Conflict with landlord
  • Illness or medical condition

With a population of approximately 142,146 residents, Kelowna’s primary rental vacancy rate was estimated at 1.9 per cent in fall 2018, which was significantly lower than the Canadian average rate of 2.4 per cent.

The Kelowna PiT count is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Reaching Home: Canada’s Homelessness Strategy. Reaching Home provided support to over 60 communities across Canada to conduct a coordinated PiT Count of the homeless population.

It is estimated that 235,000 Canadians experience homelessness each year.

READ MORE: Province to count Okanagan’s homeless


@Jen_zee
jen.zielinski@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Homeless

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP stock photo (Black Press)
Kelowna RCMP investigating unexplained death of cattle

Cattle found dead near gravel road, east of the Kelowna Airport

The Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen is launching an initiative to provide horse-assisted therapy to frontline workers during the COVID-19 pandemic (Black Press file photo)
Community Foundation of South Okanagan Similkameen to provide horse-assisted therapy

Therapy sessions will be offered to frontline workers during ongoing COVID-19 pandemic

Snow could be seen Oct. 12 on Highway 5, near the Coquihalla summit. (Contributed)
It looks like an interesting winter folks

Winter will be colder than normal, with above-normal precipitation and below-normal snowfall

Join the discussion with Boundary Similkameen candidates. (Photo submitted)
Boundary Similkameen candidates to debate health care tonight

Everyone is welcome to join the online event

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Brody Peterson said he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brody Peterson told The Gazette he intends to dispute tickets issued by Grand Forks RCMP at his backyard “house warming” Saturday, Oct. 10. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks RCMP recommend criminal charges after weekend party

Homeowner Brody Peterson said he’ll dispute tickets for refusing police instructions, alleged COVID violations

Paul Singla walks towards his Penticton home on Heather Road in 2018 after CBSA officers raided it. (File photo)
Singla and Toor make first court appearances on immigration fraud

The Okanagan men had their cases adjourned until 2021

A glimpse of some of the 480 (approx) cars written off as a result of the acid spills along the Trail highway in 2018. Photo: Trail Times
Kootenay Ford dealer’s frustration grows with ICBC

Trail AM Ford owner Dan Ashman says he just wants fair compensation from ICBC

Mail-in ballot from Elections BC (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
At least 26% of eligible voters have already cast a ballot, Elections BC says

Voters can cast a ballot until 8 p.m PST on Election Day

A 2018 decision to fly a rainbow flag ended up costing the City of Langley $62,000 in legal fees (Langley Advance Times file)
Human rights win in rainbow flag fight cost B.C. city $62,000

“Lengthy and involved” process provoked by complaint

Vintage Vernon BC shared an image of the house on Highway 97 and 39th Avenue taken in 1911. The photo, which was contributed by the Greater Vernon Museum and Archives shows the home 10 years after it was built. Dolly McClusky, a resident of the home, is seen standing on the porch. (Vintage Vernon BC - Facebook)
WATCH: Abandoned North Okanagan house on fire

Single-lane traffic in effect on Highway 97 in both directions

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a news conference Tuesday October 20, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau and his family decide against trick-or-treating this year due to COVID

Adhering to local health authorities, Trudeau urges Canadians to do their part in following those guidelines

Most Read