Youth homeless count to be done in Kamloops

Forty organizations have come together to do something that hasn't happened in Canada before -- figure out how many youth are homeless in Kamloops.

Fronted by A Way Home -- a coalition of advocates and professionals working to end youth homelessness -- the count will take place between Oct. 13 and Oct. 21, when people will be out looking for those between the ages of 13 and 24.

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Katherine McParland, the youth homelessness manager with Interior Community Services and the person behind the creation of A Way Home, said she knows the actual number won't be determined.

"The minimum number of youth experiencing homelessness in our community will be captured," she said.

To do this, organizations including the city's bylaws department, the Interior Health Authority, School District 73 and other social agencies in the city will work together through various events to do the count.

The Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops and White Buffalo Health Society are hosting a Crash at the Club sleepover for homeless youth on Oct. 21. Interior Community Services is offering a chili lunch on Oct. 20.

The school district has an online survey for youth to fill out.

Homeless youth taking part will be given backpacks filled with necessary items to help them survive cold weather.

McParland is still accepting donations for the packs. Anyone who wants to help can contact her by calling 250-320-7837 or emailing kmcparland@interiorcommunityservices.bc.ca.

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