By Global News, October 11, 2018.
Demi Knight, Community Relations Coordinator/Videographer
The Blood Tribe is participating in the Rural Homelessness Estimation Count this October for the first time ever.
“We have known that homelessness is a serious problem in rural and Indigenous communities but hard data has been lacking,” said Dee Ann Benard, executive director of the Alberta Rural Development Network.
Officials with the Alberta First Nation said the area has faced significant challenges connecting all locals to living necessities or proper housing due to several factors, including residential building shortages, addictions and socio-economic reasons. Blood Tribe officials are hoping taking part in this count will help establish these existing gaps in the community.
“The survey will assist the Blood Tribe Family Community Support Services (BT FCSS) in establishing baseline data addressing many areas that pertain to our community needs,” said Rick Tailfeathers, director of the Blood Tribe’s administration communications team.
Tailfeathers also believes this count will help create a profile to work on in the future to better address the individual and collective needs of all Blood Tribe residents.
The first nation’s participation in this count is being funded by the Calgary Homeless Foundation’s Innovation, Capacity Building and Enhancement Grant and will be conducted throughout the month of October.
The reserve is just one of 21 communities taking part in the total count.