Blood Tribe Taking Part in First Rural Homelessness Count

By Lethbridge News, October 10, 2018.

Pat Siedlecki

The count led by Alberta Rural Development Network is one of the largest coordinated rural homelessness data collection projects ever completed.        

For the first time ever, a homeless survey is taking place on the Blood Reserve.

Blood Tribe Family Community Support Services along with shelter staff from Moses Lake are participating in the rural homelessness estimation count.

Rick Tailfeathers with Blood Tribe Communications says the community has faced many challenges over the years when it comes to ensuring people on the Reserve have access to necessities and proper housing.

The data collected will also be the initial piece of information to help the Blood Tribe develop a community profile.

We have long known that homelessness is a serious problem in rural and Indigenous communities, but hard data has been lacking,” says Dee Ann Benard, Executive Director of the Alberta Rural Development Network. “With this project, we will be able to put some real numbers on this issue, so we can do a better job of addressing homelessness where it is, rather than forcing individuals to move to larger cities in search of supports and services.”

The homeless count will take place throughout the rest of this month with 21 communities participating across the province.