Community Council Joins Homeless Needs Survey Research Team

For Immediate Release: January 17, 2006

Victoria – The Victoria Cool Aid Society is pleased to announce a research partnership with the Community Social Planning Council of Greater Victoria. Researcher Jane Worton has joined the team organizing the Homeless Needs Survey to provide guidance and assistance in research design, research implementation, statistical analysis, volunteer training and report writing.

“It was necessary to postpone the Homeless Needs Survey by a few weeks to give us more time to design and test the questionnaire, enumeration and training materials,” said Jane Worton.

The agency enumeration of those temporarily sheltered will now be conducted on Monday, February 5 at locations such as Street Link Shelter and the Native Friendship Centre. Questionnaires will be conducted by volunteers of those who are homeless and at risk of being homeless from Tuesday, February 6, through Friday, February 9.

“Building on our experience from the first Homeless Count, which was held two years ago this week, we have expanded and improved upon our original methodology,” said Kathy Stinson. “Rather than trying to find people where they sleep on a single night, our 250 volunteers will be meeting folks where they obtain services – at over 40 social service agencies throughout the capital region, from Sooke to Sidney and Salt Spring Island.”

As well the Salvation Army’s Beacon Bus has generously been loaned with volunteer drivers for the week so that the census of the region’s homeless population can also take place at a variety of outdoor locations such as parks and vacant lots.

“We are making a real effort to reach out this year to those who do not access traditional services,” said Worton. “As well, we want people who are in unstable or inadequate housing, and perhaps at risk of becoming homeless, to answer the questionnaire as well.”

The “snowball sampling” technique, taking place over four days, is designed to encourage people who are homeless to invite their peers to participate as well. In this way a larger data set from a wider variety of individuals can be collected.

Those who answer the questionnaire will be given a variety of needed resources to thank them for their time and opinions. The Homeless Needs Survey team is asking for donations to provide food and hot beverages at the survey locations and to assemble 1,000 kits to give away that will include items such as:

  • Gloves, mittens, socks and toques for the cold weather
  • Bottled water, food bars and dog biscuits
  • Re-useable coffee mugs
  • Good quality knapsacks
  • Toothbrushes, and small toothpastes and shampoos
  • Food for the survey locations, including coffee, tea, hot chocolate and soup, and healthy baked goods

    For more information about the Homeless Needs Survey visit Cool Aid’s web site at www.Coolaid.org.

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Information:

Kathy Stinson, Executive Director, Victoria Cool Aid Society
or Don McTavish, Manager of Shelters
(250) 383-1977

Jane Worton, Researcher, Community Council
(250) 383-6166