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Homeless numbers falling in Alberta
Published Friday, October 21, 2016 7:49AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, October 21, 2016 12:43PM MDT
Advocacy groups hope that Alberta can prove to be a model for the rest of Canada after recent data showed that homelessness in the province has gone down, even while the national average has trended upwards.
According to data from 2014’s homeless count, there are over 6,000 people sleeping on the streets in the province, a figure that’s been dropping for a while.
Even with Alberta's depressed economy, officials know that the number of homeless in Alberta is dropping.
Numbers aren’t in for this year yet, but Diana Krecsy with the Calgary Homeless Foundation says we are down over 17 percent.
She says that homeless counts are still very important for the city to conduct.
“It really helps us a lot, plan for the future and invest in the right things, so we are actually helping people get out of homelessness,” she said.
Tim Richter, who spearheaded Calgary’s campaign to end homelessness, has taken the fight to Ottawa, saying that the issue is a public health emergency.
“The longer people are homeless, the worse their health becomes. Not having a home can be lethal.”
He says that a lack of affordable housing is the problem, but has hopes that Ottawa’s National Housing Strategy will help.
However, the coalition that visited the nation’s capital says the project needs over $43B in funding, $18B more than what the Trudeau government has said.
Data from 2016’s homeless count will be available in November.
(With files from Jamie Mauracher)