A program to count the homeless in Belleville is now underway and another program is in the works for next spring.
The province has a plan to end “chronic homelessness” by 2025, and one of the first steps is to actually count the number of people who are without a home.
Director of Hastings-Quinte Community and Human Services Erin Rivers told the committee Wednesday some tracking is done through the Red Cross overnight program but not enough.
The department, which has received $15,000 from the province for the program, plans to partner with Bridge Street United Church for the count in April.
Meanwhile Steve van de Hoef of Bridge Street United says the church is already involved with a federally funded count for another agency.
For the spring count, a registry week will be held in Quinte West, Madoc and Bancroft. Various local agencies will assist the department in registering the homeless people in these areas.
The provincial guidelines say the count should cover at least 30% of the population of the community and human services area.
The ministry indicates it will be held every two years “in order to compare trends and progress in the elimination of homelessness.”