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May 8-10 set for youth homeless tally

The 2018 youth homelessness count is planned for May 8 through May 10 throughout the city.
Youth count
miling ear to ear is Youth Homeless manager Katherine McParland (centre) as she and Elizabeth Fry Society of Kamloops and District executive director Louise Richards (left) accept a donation of $500 from Lori Bushnell, member services supervisor at Interior Savings Credit Union’s Lansdowne branch. The funds will go toward establishing honorariums for youth experiencing homelessness who participate in the Kamloops Youth Homelessness Count from May 8 to May 10. Interior Savings recently partnered to help with the count.

The 2018 youth homelessness count is planned for May 8 through May 10 throughout the city.

The count by A Way Home Kamloops, a program that targets homeless people between the ages of 13 and 24, will have community booths at five locations on both days for youth to be surveyed.

Discussions are ongoing about where the booths will be located, said Katherine McParland, manager of the program.

There will also be a count conducted on May 9 on the streets and at the Henry Grube Campfire and Community Fair from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and on May 10 at the Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops Crash at the Club from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Forty organizations will be involved in the count. There will also be a mandatory survey for every Grade 10 student in the school district, with the aim of finding youth who may be experiencing housing insecurity.

A Way Home did the country’s first youth-specific count in October 2016, identifying 56 youth who were homeless and 129 more who had experienced homelessness.

The youth homelessness count is different from the point-in-time count normally done because it looks for couch-surfers, those who are spending the night at places other than their homes and those who may not be taking part in services offered.

It identifies youth who have experienced homelessness at some point. As it is done over several days, it is intended to better measure the extent of the problem.