Square One Community Inc. completed its Point-in-Time (PiT) Homelessness Count on Saturday.
The count will provide a snapshot of homelessness in Moose Jaw, indicating the minimum number of people experiencing homelessness in the city.
There were a total of 53 volunteers who donated time to the cause on Saturday, in addition to four board members. There were 18 teams of three that walked the city and filled out surveys with those they encountered on the streets. There were also satellite stations set up at St. Aiden Anglican Church and at the Moose Jaw Public Library. Feedback was also gathered from local community members.
"It went exceptionally well," said PiT coordinator Desiree LaLonde. "You could just feel the energy in the room. Everyone was really excited to get out to the street and work together."
A local EMS member also offered services, in addition to a member of the mental health team, and another young lady with crisis management training.
The city was divided into 17 zones covering the area from Hall St. in the north down to Coteau St. in the south. The area covered 9th Ave. East to 9th Ave. West.
Teams drove out to further locations such as Wakamow Valley and Hamilton Flats.
"Everyone was just really excited," continued LaLonde. "I think they are so excited to be a part of this initiative and hopeful for this to make an impact with the data that we'll have for Square One but also as a community entirely."
She expects to be busy crunching the numbers over the next couple of weeks.
"At the national level, the data will collected and compared with other cities and then here locally, it will help show a need for supporting a shelter for women in our community...Maybe get better funding and it will help identify gaps in services. Hopefully, we can form things like other advisory committees to take this data and look at it and come up with other plans and how we can best address this."
LaLonde is hoping they can be part of a national homelessness count that is being discussed for 2024.
Each person that was surveyed received a gratuity bag consisting of a list of community resources, bookmarks, granola bars, and naloxone kits.
"It's just amazing to see the response. A lot of hard work went into this but none of this would have been possible without all the volunteers stepping up. They were the game changer in this coming to fruition," concluded LaLonde.
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