SURREY — Newton BIA’s first homeless count has found 55 people living on the streets in the town centre alone. They were identified over a three-day count this summer, said director Philip Aguirre. “We need advocacy and you can’t have advocacy without real measurement,” Aguirre told the Now, noting Surrey’s last homeless count of 403 in 2014 didn’t include a single person in Newton.
“So I couldn’t use the previous count because it wasn’t accurate for Newton.” The BIA did the count with the commissionaires they hire to do safety patrols in the area because they are familiar with many of the area’s homeless.
The count focused on the Newton Town Centre core and some surrounding parks such as Unwin and Frank Hurt.
About half of the 55 people identified as homeless filled out a survey, explained Aguirre.
“The majority of them were living in Newton,” he said.