A survey of local people living rough will take place before the end of the month, and organizers are seeking volunteers to help out.
The Grand Forks Point-in-time count, organized by the Grand Forks Social Services Advisory Group, needs people from the community at large to assist in the area’s first survey of this kind, which will take place on Monday, March 23.
Volunteer roles are available in three-hour shifts throughout the day, and no prior experience is required, “just a desire to serve the community,” say organizers. Volunteers must also attend a mandatory two-hour training session on March 12, led by Dustin Lupick of the Homelessness Services Association of B.C. The training will begin at 2 p.m. at the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary office in Grand Forks (2140 Central Avenue), and all volunteers must also sign a waiver.
Though initially launched as an initiative from residents and social service providers in the area, the Grand Forks Point-in-time count will be supported by the provincial government, who will input the data gleaned from the March 23 survey alongside numerous other counts being done this spring in communities across B.C.
Questions on the standardized survey range from establishing simple things like demographics, to understanding people’s health, economic, and housing backgrounds.
Organizers say that for safety and quality, volunteers will circulate the region in pairs, (with at least one partner experienced in working with people experiencing homelessness), and will be provided an identifying badge to indicate they are members of the official count team.
People interested in volunteering can download a volunteer application form from the city’s website (https://www.grandforks.ca/public-notices/point-in-time-count/), and can email their completed forms to Coun. Chris Moslin at firstname.lastname@example.org, or bring the form to the training session on March 12.