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Home News River Bank Development Corp. to release findings from 2022 Point-in-Time Count on Thursday

River Bank Development Corp. to release findings from 2022 Point-in-Time Count on Thursday

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River Bank Development Corp. to release findings from 2022 Point-in-Time Count on Thursday
City of Prince Albert -- Herald file photo.

COVID may have delayed Prince Albert’s fourth Point-in-Time (PiT) Count, but it didn’t stop it.

River Bank Development Corporation led a group of volunteers and partner agencies in an effort to count Prince Albert’s homeless population during a 24-hour span that ran from March 24-25. The results will be released on Thursday.

“We actually were supposed to have done this a year or so ago,” Point-in-Time Count coordinator Brian Howell said. “We had cancelled it because of COVID, and just did an enumeration where we did a quick count with just a couple of questions, but this time it wasn’t really much of a problem at all.”

During that 24-hour period, volunteers counted and surveyed individuals staying in emergency shelters, temporary accommodation, and unsheltered locations such as sidewalks and parks. The count offers a “snapshot” of homelessness in Prince Albert, giving researchers, non-profits, and aid organizations a glimpse at the minimum number of residents who are homeless.

“We were masked and vaxxed, so we weren’t particularly intimidated by COVID (this year),” Howell said. “There seems to be a lot of homeless people out there, regardless of COVID … so that’s certainly something we’ll be talking about on Thursday.”

Typically, the PiT Count provides a picture of “absolute homelessness”, which refers to individuals who have no physical shelter of their own except maybe an emergency shelter. This year, however, volunteers made an effort to record the number of “hidden homeless”, which involves people who move from one friend or relative’s house to another. These people almost always have a place to stay, but do not have a permanent place to call their own.

Howell said the results will improve how Prince Albert non-profits and aid organizations help the City’s homeless population. It also provides key data on who is homeless, by recording the gender, age, ethnicity and veteran status of each individual.

River Bank Development Corp. plans to release the findings at a press conference Thursday morning at the Bernese Sayese Centre.

“It’s especially valuable for comparative purposes,” Howell said. “We’ve done it for a number of years and so then you start to build up your results…. You get to see some changing trends, and there will be some changing trends to talk about on Thursday for sure.”

YWCA Prince Albert, Our House, Stepping Stones Shelter, Prince Albert Community Housing, PA Safe Shelter for Women, Prince Albert Police Services, Prince Albert Brief and Social Detox, Métis Addiction Council of Saskatchewan, and the Prince Albert Métis Women’s Association all assisted with the count. Howell said it wouldn’t have been possible without their efforts.

“We are overwhelmed by the support from volunteers and our community agencies,” he said. “On behalf of our community, I would like to thank everyone for their time, effort, and commitment to the Prince Albert 2022 Point-in-Time Count.

“I would especially like to thank those who participated in the survey and shared their experiences. It is with this level of collaboration and dedication that we will see an end to homelessness.”