The process of counting how many homeless people live in the Bancroft area starts next week.

Anyone who is homeless is being asked to take part in an anonymous survey in order for Hastings County and the province to track how big the problem is in the community. Program Manager at Belleville’s Bridge Street United Church Food Ministry Steve Van de Hoef says the information will help Hastings County plan for the future.

These types of counts will be going on across Ontario, as part of the province’s goal to end chronic homelessness by 2025. Van de Hoef says this survey is important as there is no information at this time about homelessness levels in the county. He says homelessness in small rural communities is often hidden.

Those who are homeless are being encouraged to take part in the survey between April 17th and the 23rd. You can do this by going to Peer Support Lifehouse on Bridge Street, or to Loyalist College’s Community Employment Services centre. Although those surveyed will stay anonymous, Van de Hoef says the goal is to share the results publically before the summer.