From Lacombe and District Family and Community Support Services:

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 a proportion of the 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 is 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.”

Click here to see the PowerPoint Presentation of the Rural Homelessness Estimation Project preliminary survey results.

More Local News

Get your hut off the lake before it's too late

Lacombe County made it easier for you to feel safe planting your second home on the ice over the winter, now it's time to take it off. With the end of winter fishing season ending on March 31, they…

Red Deer RCMP discusses upcoming public safety programs

On March 22nd Superintendent Grobmeier of the Red Deer RCMP spoke at the Red Deer County Centre about public safety programs. The meeting was hosted by Safe Communities Central Alberta in an effort…

Head of the Alberta Liberal Party sets sights on Indigenous rights

Running on a platform of job creation, health care improvements, and reducing classroom sizes, the Liberal Party of Alberta rolled out their campaign promises earlier this week. David Khan, a lawyer…

Woman wins $1M on $5 lottery ticket in Red Deer

From the Western Canadian Lottery Association: Alice Bilinski was sure her eyes were playing a trick on her after she uncovered three SET FOR LIFE symbols on her $5 SET FOR LIFE ticket and won $1…

A chance to quiz Lacombe area politicians before election

A public questioning forum is being held on April 3rd at the LMC with local politicians. It's your chance to quiz Ron Orr with the UCP, Myles Chykerda with the Alberta Party, and Doug Hart with the…

Alberta Provincial Election 2019: What you need to know

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley made it official on Tuesday; on April 16th, 2019, Albertans will go to the polls to vote on who they think should run our province. Here is some important information…

People struggling with dementia to get artsy thanks to grant

A program for those with Dementia is able to grow thanks to Lacombe’s recreation and culture grant. "Opening Minds Through Art," was one of 5 chosen recipients, and received just under $5000 to buy…

Two youth charged for firearm possession and more

From Maskwacis RCMP: On the afternoon of March 19, Maskwacis RCMP members seized a shotgun from two youths following a break-in in Wetaskiwin. Members of the Maskwacis Community Response Unit (CRU)…

Community bands together during Wetaskiwin blaze

Some are without a home and others without their local watering hole after a fiery devastation in Wetaskiwin today (March 19, 2019.) Around 6:30 A.M. fire crews were called to the Rose Country Inn…

Man facing 12 charges for homemade firearm and materials

From Wetaskiwin RCMP: Maskwacis RCMP members located a loaded homemade .22 calibre firearm on a suspicious male in Wetaskiwin on the morning of March 15. Members of the Maskwacis Community Response…

CochraneNow.com is Cochrane's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login