The city released the latest stats on homeless numbers in Vancouver today, and they’re not pretty. They’re not even ruggedly handsome or have a nice personality.
According to the preliminary results from the City of Vancouver Homeless Count, a whopping 2,223 people were identified as experiencing homelessness this year — a two per cent increase from last year. For those of you keeping tabs, that number is an all-time high since the city started keeping record of such things in 2002 — meaning there has never been more homeless people in Vancouver than there is now.
But you wouldn’t necessarily know that from the less-than-gloomy spin put on the city’s press release. Titled “Homeless Count results show a slowing in the growth of homelessness in Vancouver over the last two years,” it tells of the “bold actions” taken by the city that “are making an impact on the numbers of people experiencing homelessness in Vancouver.”
We get it. No one wants to wear the fact that homeless is at an all-time high, especially after building hundreds of temporary modular housing units, which also means that the number of homeless people would be waaaaaay worse if said housing wasn’t built. But let’s not sugar-coat it by focusing on the fact that a two per cent growth in homeless numbers is slower than previous years and thus something to rally around.
If the number of murders was at an all-time high in Vancouver, would police trumpet the fact they’ve slowed the growth of murders over the previous year?
This might sound unrealistic, but it would be refreshing to see the city use one of the following headlines for once when announcing homeless is at an all-time high:
- Despite our efforts, it is clearly not enough
- Man, we really thought we had a handle on this….
- The system is not working
- Thanks a lot.... Justin
- Can it get any worse? We hope not, but it probably can…
- Sure, the growth of homelessness is slowing, but it’s really nothing to be proud of