Lacombe FCSS homelessness count releases preliminary results

36 completed surveys and 55 anecdotal clients leads to 91 population estimate

Lacombe and District Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) is pleased to share the preliminary results of a survey that looks at the extent of homelessness across rural Alberta.

“Currently, there is extremely limited information on rural and remote homelessness, and this is an issue not only in Alberta but across North America,” said Lacombe and District FCSS Executive Director Susan MacDonald. “As a consequence of this lack of hard data, funding for rural homelessness prevention and reduction initiatives is substantially less than in urban areas, despite the available research and reports from service agencies indicating there are similar levels of homelessness in rural communities as in urban settings, based on proportion of population.”

The count, which includes 21 communities, is one of the largest projects to collect rural homelessness data in the world. This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada’s Homelessness Partnering Strategy and administered by the Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN), in partnership with the Family and Community Support Services Association of Alberta (FCSSAA).

The project will provide data on each community as well as a needs’ snapshot of the kind of social services that being accessed within the communities. Lacombe and District FCSS was one of the 14 organizations in Alberta granted funding to carry out a population estimation count. The agency also received additional funding from the City of Lacombe’s Affordable Housing Initiative.

The 2018 Homelessness Estimation Project was conducted in Fall 2018. Print surveys were collected from October 14 to November 15, covering the city of Lacombe, the village of Clive and surrounding areas. Population estimation data was collected on the homeless population by participating service agencies.

Clients who come to access social services over a 30-day period were invited to fill out surveys. The survey provides information on the characteristics of the local homeless population (gender, age, etc.). It helps the community identify needs and develop strategies to implement resources to support this group.

The population estimation method deviates from the Point-in-Time Count (PiT) methodology where volunteers scour the community during a 24-hour period to conduct surveys with the individuals they come across. Population estimation is mostly used when there are limited resources to conduct a PiT, where homelessness is mostly hidden, or where the population is spread out over a large area, making it difficult for volunteers to conduct a PiT count efficiently.

“Homelessness is often hidden in rural communities and rarely looks like it does in urban centres,” said Project Lead Connie Malena. “Consequently, rural communities are often met with disbelief when attempts are made to address the issue of homelessness within their communities.

This skepticism is the underlying motivation to develop an effective and inexpensive practice to collect data and identify the scope of homelessness in Alberta’s rural communities.”

-Submitted by Lacombe FCSS

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Alberta male team takes silver in Winter Games relay speed skating

Alberta was close behind Quebec in the team relay speed skating finals

Lacombe Police Service respond to car theft at Greenway Inn

Suspect is still outstanding and the investigation is ongoing

Lacombe Police Service responds to attempted car theft

Two suspects departed scene in a silver 2000 Dodge Caravan

Alberta was crowned champions in Wheelchair Basketball at Canada Winter Games

Ontario won silver while Quebec took home the bronze medal

Lacombe welcomes ‘Napalm Girl’ to discuss journey from hatred to forgiveness

Latest Herr Lecture to feature Kim Phuc Phan Thi at LMC

WATCH: Canada Games Torch Relay lights spark in Lacombe

100s brave blistering cold to support local torchbearers

WATCH: Pet therapy brings calmness to Winter Games athletes

Canada Winter Games in Red Deer continue on until March 2nd

R. Kelly charged with 10 counts of sexual abuse

R&B star has been accused of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls for years

Child advocacy centre raising funds through Dream Home Lottery

The child advocacy centre in Red Deer uses its resources to help kids all over Central Alberta

Trudeau tells Canadians to listen to clerk in SNC-Lavalin matter

Privy Council clerk Michael Wernick delivered a blunt assessment at the House of Commons justice

Mueller report looming, new attorney general in hot seat

Robert Mueller is required to produce a confidential report to pursue or decline prosecutions

B.C. woman shares story of abuse with church officials ahead of Vatican summit

Leona Huggins was the only Canadian in the gathering ahead of a historic summit at the Vatican

Sylvan Lake’s Megan Cressey misses Freestyle Skiing Big Air podium

Alberta’s Jake Sandstorm captured silver in the men Freestyle Skiing Big Air contest

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Most Read