Montreal homeless count returns to the city

A volunteer gathers information during the 2018 homelessness survey on Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Global News/David Sedell

Hundreds of volunteers fanned out across Montreal on Tuesday night for the second homeless count run by the non-profit group IcountMTL.

It is the second count for Montreal, but the first one being run across the province of Quebec.

Eleven cities are taking part, along with 1,200 volunteers, including local businessman Serge Turgeon.

“I’m happy that we have this ambition to not just tackle the issue day to day but to really look to see how we can improve their lives.”

The survey helps cities tailor their social programs for some of the most vulnerable.

“It’s crucial to have data so that we know where to invest,” said city Coun. Benoit Langevin.

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Information from the first major homeless count in 2015 showed that there were 3,016 homeless in the city.

This time around, the data will look at whether those numbers have changed, but will also be looking for details on a specific clientele: women, Indigenous people, and youth 30 years and younger.

“We focus on these three groups because they are more likely to be part of hidden homelessness,” explained IcountMTL president Eric Latimer.

“Hidden homelessness can include people who couch surf, use rooming houses, motels and hotels but don’t have a fixed address.”

The count continues at day centres on April 25 and 26.

The results from the count will be compiled and then released in July.

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