Death toll for people experiencing homelessness jumped 75% last year, B.C. coroner finds


The B.C. Coroners Service says almost 250 people experiencing homelessness died last 12 months, marking a pointy 75 per cent soar over the variety of lives misplaced in 2020.

Preliminary numbers launched by the coroner Wednesday present 247 people who had been homeless died in 2021 — up from 141 in 2020.

“This report displays the dangers and realities that people experiencing homelessness face daily,” Chief Coroner Lisa Lapointe wrote in an announcement.

“We know that many are going through vital well being considerations, together with bodily disabilities, psychological well being challenges and substance-use points … My hope is that this data will assist assist constructive motion, each throughout Homelessness Action Week and past.”

The coroners service has been learning the variety of deaths amongst people experiencing housing instability since 31 people died in 2012. 

Nearly three-quarters of the people who died last 12 months had been between 30 and 59. More than half had been residing within the Fraser Health or Vancouver Coastal Health areas, knowledge confirmed.


The coroner labeled 74 per cent of the deaths as unintended. Of these unintended deaths, 87 per cent had been discovered to have been attributable to illicit drug toxicity.

“Our heartfelt condolences exit to all the households and associates of family members who’ve misplaced their lives whereas experiencing homelessness. The people who died had been our neighbours, family and friends members, and our ideas are with everybody grieving their loss,” wrote Murray Rankin, the legal professional basic and minister accountable for housing, in an announcement.

The coroner labeled a person experiencing homelessness as “an individual residing outdoor, in a makeshift shelter, a parked car or “some other construction not supposed for habitation. People who stayed in a single day at an emergency shelter, a brief shelter, in momentary modular housing, protected homes for youth or transition homes for ladies and youngsters fleeing violence had been additionally counted.

In southeastern B.C., 88 people in Nelson had been with no residence as of Feb. 1, 2022, in keeping with the annual report card on homelessness issued Tuesday by the Nelson Committee on Homelessness, a non-profit group.

The report mentioned Nelson, a group of greater than 10,000 residents, recorded the province’s second-highest fee of homelessness — eight out of each 1,000 people.

Community co-ordinator Jayne Caldwell mentioned with town’s emptiness fee at zero, greater than 60 per cent of people in Nelson have been homeless for greater than six months.

Caldwell mentioned she hopes the brand new metropolis council can work collectively to unravel the problem.

“I’m hopeful that whether or not we now have new candidates that come up or we now have current candidates that come into workplace once more, that we will all work collectively on this as a result of it’s such a disaster and we’ve not actually been treating it like that,” she informed CBC’s Daybreak South.


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