Homeless Census

The need for shelter is a pressing concern for Penticton's homeless population during the winter, but one organization wants to know just how many people need their help.

Salvation Army Community Services Director, Christine Simmons, says no one knows exactly how many people are homeless in Penticton.

"We have several different agencies in town that help people, so it's hard to know just how many people are living on the streets if they go to different agencies for help," says Simmons.

She says the cold weather makes having an accurate number even more important.

"All the agencies just want to make sure everyone has a warm place to go to at night. It would be easier to coordinate our efforts if we knew exactly how many people needed our help," says Simmons.

She says the Salvation Army has started a task force to try and obtain an accurate number.

"For the last few weeks we have had volunteers go into the downtown core to pass out hot coffee and warm clothing to those who need it. At the same time, they are trying to get a better count of just how many people are out there," says Simmons.

She says anyone who needs shelter can call the Salvation Army at 492-4788.

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