Rural Homelessness Estimation Project

The County, in partnership with the towns of Beaverlodge, Wembley and Sexsmith and the Village of Hythe, launched a project in Fall 2018 to estimate homelessness in our rural area.

From September 17 to October 17, 2018, the County worked with local agencies to gather data about individuals using their services through a brief and anonymous survey. The estimation relied on community members who fell into one of the four categories of homelessness to be part of the reporting process. 

Who qualifies as homeless?

Four types of living conditions will be included in the estimation, which are: 

  1. Unsheltered – people who are completely homeless, living on the street or in places not intended for human habitation
  2. Emergency Sheltered – people who are staying in overnight shelters due to homelessness or family violence
  3. Provisionally Accommodated – people living in temporary accommodations or in places that are not intended for long-term housing. For example, people living in short-term housing or couch surfing  
  4. At Risk of Homelessness – people who are not yet homeless but their current economic situation puts them at risk of homelessness

Why is estimating rural homelessness important?

An accurate estimate of the number of individuals and families experiencing homelessness in our communities:

  • Acts as a baseline so we can track progress made in reducing homelessness in the future
  • Allows each municipality to provide information to local agencies to improve community services
  • Helps to secure funding to enhance resources available for community members to prevent and reduce homelessness
  • Informs programs, projects and policies from local, provincial and federal government
  • Increases awareness of rural homelessness in our area and across the province

Participating Agencies:

  • Sexsmith FCSS
  • Hythe FCSS
  • Wembley FCSS
  • Beaverlodge FCSS
  • HIV North Society
  • Grande Prairie Seniors Outreach
  • Alberta Supports Grande Prairie
  • Rotary House
  • Odyssey House Women’s Shelter
  • Sunrise House
  • Wellington Resource Centre

The Alberta Rural Development Network (ARDN) has released reports outlining the findings from each participating community Read the County of Grande Prairie Rural Homelessness Estimation Report [PDF - 5 MB]

This project was made possible through a $5,000 grant from ARDN. The organization developed a guide to estimating homelessness in rural areas, which requires a different approach than estimations in urban areas. They also support similar estimation projects across the province to help develop an understanding and increase awareness of the issue of rural homelessness.

Do you have questions about the Rural Homelessness Estimation Project? Contact County FCSS at 780-532-9727 for more information.