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“We Have Been Seeing an Increase” Centre of Hope Believes Homeless Numbers Higher Than Expected

Fort McMurray, AB, Canada / MIX 103.7

The recent results of the Point-in-Time homeless count might not be telling the entire truth in Fort McMurray.

That’s according to Amanda Holloway, Executive Director of the Centre of Hope, who tells Mix News not all their stats line up with the RMWB’s preliminary findings.

The report noted 200 individuals identified themselves as homeless – up from 114 when the count was last conducted in 2016.

“From April 1 to June 30 of this year alone, we’ve served 352 unique individuals in our drop-in, so those numbers are higher and I think it’s an eye opener for our community,” said Holloway.

The average age for the Centre of Hope’s drop-in numbers continues to be between 30 – 59, which is on par with the homeless count.

To this day, Hollway says it’s impossible to understand fully why so many people are living on the streets.

“As a community, we’re doing wonderful things and have some fantastic programming here to work with individuals living in homelessness, but unfortunately we have been seeing an increase in the number of individuals living in homelessness and that’s certainly reflective of what we’re seeing in our drop-in centre as well.”

As for what needs to be done to improve these numbers, Hollway believes organizations working with the homeless need to continue doing what they’re doing.

“There’s no predicting homelessness or the impacts that happen in our community that feed into homelessness, so I think we just need to continue to do the incredible work we’re doing.”