BRANTFORD — Jen Mt. Pleasant, the Aboriginal engagement co-ordinator at Brantford Native Housing is working with Point-in-Time (PiT) co-ordinator Annalise Clarkson to bring PiT Count Surveys to the Brantford area this month.
The surveys will be conducted on April 13 and be used to collect information on the homeless within Brantford, with hopes of generated funding to help. In an interview, Clarkson explained exactly what PiT Survey is.
“The PiT Count is just the short form for Point-in-Time,” said Clarkson. “So, it’s basically a census of individuals experiencing homelessness at a single point in time, the night of the count,” said Clarkson.
“A Point-in-Time Count is also referred to as ‘Snapshot Count’ so we can get a picture or a snapshot of homelessness within the area at the time. Once we have those numbers, we’re hoping that they will help with resource allocations as well as funding. So, we can see who needs services, are they getting those services, we can check to see if there’s gaps in the services and then we can also, with the numbers, apply for some funding,” she said.
Clarkson then explained that homelessness is a serious problem in Brantford.
“There are eight or nine shelters that we have in town that are going to be participating in the PiT Count,” she said. “There’s a community needs assessment done in 2011 and I think that was the last time we actually did a good needs assessment and this [PiT Count] will add to it.”
Mt.Pleasant, Clarkson’s business partner, shared in an email some statistics that show more than a quarter of the homeless within Brantford are indeed First Nations.
“According to statistics gathered by homelesshub.ca/community-profiles/ontario/brantford, in 2007 there were 316 people living on the streets in Brantford. Of the entire homeless population in Brantford, 26 per cent identify as First Nations. Many of those who identify as First Nations, are from the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory,” stated Mt. Pleasant.
“In collaboration with the Government of Canada, Point-in-Time Counts (which is essentially a way to conduct surveys) will be conducted in 30 communities across Canada. The goal of doing a Point-in-Time Count is to have all participating communities conduct their surveys at a specific time of year. From January through April 2016, these surveys will be conducted. Some of the communities include: Hamilton, Ottawa, Thunder Bay, Vancouver and Winnipeg.”
The surveys within Brantford are being conducted on Wednesday, April 13, 2016. Roughly 100 to 150 volunteers are needed. Volunteers will be provided with a free meal and given a free Tim Hortons gift card for their help.
Remember, the information collected will be used to help receive funding to benefit those that are homeless in the Brantford area.
If you are in need of community hours, or simply want to help, please contact Annalise Clarkson at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 519-756-2205.