Survey shows more homeless than expected living in Sooke

Survey shows more homeless than expected living in Sooke

38 people recorded in one day

A recent survey proves there is a homelessness problem in Sooke.

Those experiencing homelessness, living in a shelter or any form of temporary housing were encouraged to participate in the survey, which was held at three different locations in Sooke.

Thirty-eight people filled out the survey.

“That is a lot more than I expected for such a small community,” said volunteer Sherry Thompson. “But I know that there’s more, because I’m aware that there’s people who live out in the bush in the area who didn’t come in and participate.”

Thompson attributes the amount of homelessness to lack of housing and affordable housing, but added that almost all of the participants had experienced trauma in their life, which could be another factor.

The purpose of the 2018 Greater Victoria Point-In-Time count survey was to find out homelessness statistics in the region, in order to advocate for government funding and affordable housing. This was the first time Sooke was included in the survey.

Thompson hopes that the results of the survey will attract more awareness to the problem of homelessness and lack of affordable housing within the area, and force senior government action.

She said what’s considered affordable housing also needs to be better defined, because even with subsidized housing, which users only pay 30 per cent of their monthly income towards rent, is unaffordable for many people.

“I’m also concerned for families, individuals and seniors who do have a home, but are struggling to live because they barely have enough income to cover the cost of housing,” Thompson said.

“I want this survey to benefit everyone, and I’m just hoping the government will act soon and provide the funding, services and housing that is obviously needed.”